heritage infomation, cultural heritage administration, the organization that gives pride and hope to koreans

 Classification Important Intangible Cultural Heritage   116
 Name of Cultural
Hwahyejang (Shoe Making)
 Kind of Cultural
 Designated Date 2004.02.20
 Address   Songpa-gu  Seoul
 Description Hwahyejang refers to a craftsman skilled in the art of making traditional Korean shoes.

It is a compound word, joining “hwajang,” a person who made hwa (long-necked shoes), and “hyejang,” a person who made shoes that did not go over the ankles (hye).

Gyeonggukdaejeon (National Code) published in the Joseon Dynasty, says that the demand for shoes was so high that there were 16 hwajang and 14 hyejang affiliated with the central government office.

This record also shows the separation of the two specialties.

Hye are made by pasting several layers of cotton or ramie cloth onto cotton lining and covering them with silk to make the outer rim.

This is then sewn onto the sole made of leather.

It is important to maintain balance to prevent the tip of the shoes from twisting.

The shoes were finished off by shaping them with a wooden last.

As traditional shoes were mostly made of leather, their manufacture involved numerous different processes and thus called for a high level of skill.

There are many records from the Joseon Dynasty that mention shoe craftsmen and shoe-related matters, giving us an idea of life at that time.

For this reason, the art of shoe making is historically important and worthy of academic study.