Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

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Policies and Actions


National level agency/organisation dedicated to preservation and promotion of traditional/folk performing arts

- Cultural Properties Administration
- National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea

Prominent NGOs working in this field


Brief chronology-history

The Cultural Properties Protection Law (CPPL)in Korea was first promulgated, as Law NO.961 on January 10, 1962 to provide the promotion and protection of tangible and intangible culture. Its stated purpose was to ensure that traditional forms of Korean Culture would be preserved and revitalized while the rest of Korean society, particularly its economy, continued to change and grow. Both intangible and tangible culture were covered in the protection program, which was the first of its kind in Korea to encourage study of national folklore, especially in areas related to the traditional/folk performing arts.

The enactment of the CPPL in 1962 brought about the establishment of Cultural Properties Administration.

Intangible Cultural Properties Division is the supervisory office for all of the designated Cultural Properties including traditional/folk performing arts.

The documentation, publication, and materials collection which are necessary for the designation process of cultural properties are done through National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, which belongs to Cultural Properties Administration.

Legislation in this field

Cultural Property Protection Law (enact. 1962)
The above law applies only to traditional/folk performing arts designated as Important Intangible Cultural Properties (IICP).

Category/types of performing arts

Traditional/folk performing arts can be divided into five different areas: music, dance, drama, play and ritual.


Cultural Properties Administration
compiled since 1964 (renewed annually)
Important Intangible Cultural Properties Index
Cultural Properties Administration
(Format: print)

Audio・visual documentation collection

National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea
1-57, Sejongno, Chongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 110-050

Form of documentation: photograph, slide, audio cassette, film reel, video cassette, compact disc, digital video disc

Aspects of traditional/folk performing arts in education

There exist several educational institutions at both national and local level. By 1999, based on government funding, 27 training centers for transmitting intangible Cultural Properties have been built.

Data provider

Ms. Hur Young-il
Professor, Department of Dance
Intangible Cultural Properties Committee Member
National Research Institute of Cultural Properties of Korea
Address: 1-57, Sejongno, Chongno-gu, Seoul, 110-050, Republic of Korea