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Sotdae is a long pole with a wooden bird on the top posted by the entrance of a village as a symbol of a guardian or a boundary line.

In Korean, the word “Sotdae” can be divided into “Sot” which is a transformed verb meaning “stand” or “post” and “Dae” which means “a tree.”
In addition a pole posted in a Gutdang (a place for traditional ceremony, Gut) as a symbol of a god is also called “Sotdae.” At the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar (Jeongwol Boreum), people post “Sotdae” by the entrance of their village and play “Nongak” for enjoying. By this ceremony, people believe that they will get an abundant harvest in that year. For people, the entrance of a village is a door everything including supernatural beings and they believe misfortune, disease, impurity, and any other bad aspects penetrate the village through the entrance.
That is, the entrance of a village is a place the holiness and order in a village and the impurity and confusion outside of a village contact. To prevent the penetration of bad aspects, people post “Sotdae” as the stronger symbol.

The origin of Sotdae

It is commonly accepted that the Sotdae is from Sodo, a kind of ceremony in Samhan Era. Sotdae is a pole posted in Sodo, and the pronunciation “Sotdae” is from the changing of “Sodo.” Sotdae is posted as a guardian for a village, an altar, a boundary, a personal remembrance for passing the national test, or a remembrance for a devoted child. However, Sotdae is not a mark for holy areas, but a holy pole.

The kinds of Sotdae

According to the shape, Sotdae has the kinds of Rock Sotdae, wooden Sotdae made of pine tree with wooden duck on the top, and Yongdu Sotdae which has orange color with blue top and the head of a dragon. Hwajaebangi Sotdae is a kind of classifications of Sotdae according to the purposes. A village with frequent fires posts Hwajaebangi Sotdae and ducks to prevent fires. In addition, in the memorial of pass the national test or a devoted child people post Sotdae. Sometimes people in a village in the shape of a ship or a crane post a Sotdae and this is a kind according to the Chinese geomantic principles.

The order of making Sotdae

Basic materials : 2 heads, 2 bodies, 2 long bamboo trees, and 1 supports
1. Make a shape of a bird - Use a head for a bill and eyes and use a body for a tail.
2. Stick the head to the body to complete the bird shape.
3. On the bottom side of the bird, stick the bamboo tree.
4. Apply support to the bamboo pole.