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1-2-89 nine Tals

L-R: Gasun (Jung Tal), Hanarin (Halmi Tal), Ara (Bune Tal), Eunyul (Baekjung Tal), Imae Tal, Yeonhwa (Gaksi Tal), Saeha (Seonbi Tal), Chunryang (Yangban Tal), and Choi (Choraengi Tal)

The Tals (or "Masks") are nine very powerful chachaoongs who were chosen and appointed by the King of the Chachaoongs, Jack O'Lantern. They are very well known in the chachaoong community, and most others tend to be quite apprehensive about interacting with them. The Tals themselves note that they do not know why Jack gave them the masks, neither do they have anything in common.[1] Choraengi Tal notes that his mask restores itself if damaged or destroyed, and reappears if he disposes of it.[2]

Each Tal possesses a specific mask and they are often referred to by the mask name rather than their given name by those who are not acquainted with them. Some, such as Imae, use only their mask name and their real name is unknown. Some Tals are animal rather than humanoid, but these are not counted among the nine.

In Korean history, "Tal-nori" and "Talchum" are known as mask-drama dances. There were many different mask dramas, all with different characters and purposes. But for most of the mask dramas, the purpose was to celebrate and honor gods and chase away evil spirits; they were sometimes performed only once a year. Shamanistic practices played a heavy part in most of the mask dramas.

The Tals in the webtoon are based specifically based on the Hahoe mask drama.

The TalsEdit

Tal

The Hahoe Tal-nori masks

As previously mentioned, the Tals in the story are based off the Hahoe masks. Several Tals share specific traits with the tal-nori character they represent.

Mask name Meaning Owner Notes

Nine Tals appointed by Jack ("those who act")[3]
Imae (Ei Mae, Yi-Mae)
이매
fool  ? His true name is unknown until the end of Part 1.
Baekjeong (Baekjung, Baek‑Jeong)
백정
butcher Eunyul
은율
Gaksi (Gak Si, Gakshi)
각시
bride Yeonhwa
연화
He/she went missing at the same time as Imae.
Bune (Bu-Neh, Beu-Ne, Pune)
부네
paramour, lover, coquette, flirtatious woman Ara (Ah Ra)
아라
She is the physically strongest of the nine Tals.
In the traditional dramas, she is the lover of both Seonbi and Yangban, and this is reflected in the behavior of the latter two in the webtoon.
Halmi (Hal-Mi)
할미
old widow Hanarin (Ha Na Rin)
하나린
She has the ability to see a person's past or future.[4] She also has the ability to locate anyone she has met before.
Seonbi (Sun-Be, Sun-Bi)
선비
scholar Saeha (Sae Ha)
새하
He is known as the "Doctor" Tal.
Choraengi (Chorang-Yi)
초랭이
busybody Choi (Cho-Yi)
초이
Jung (Joong, Jung-Yi, Chung)
monk Gasun (Ga-Sun, Gaseon)
He has the ability to erase the presence of himself and others (cloaking).
Yangban (Yang-Ban)
양반
aristocrat, nobleman Chunryang (Chun-Ryang, Cheonryang)
천량

Forgotten Tals ("those who observe")[3]
Chonggak (Chong-Gak)
총각
groom Teo (Tae-Ho)
테오
He calls his group of Tals "outsiders who should not exist in this generation".
Byeolchae (Bul-Chae)
별채
tax collector Jun He has the ability to control the hands and feet of others.[3]
Ddeokdari (Duk-Dali)
떡다리
old man Lun He wears a tall, black hat and carries a book, much like Jack's name collectors.

Masks in the webtoonEdit

The following are the Masks as they appear in the webtoon. If they are not depicted here (despite the Tal being introduced), the actual mask the Tal wears has not been shown yet.

NotesEdit

TAL

montage of several known and unknown Tals

  • There were originally two "Ju-Ze" tals, similar to how there were two lions in the Tal-nori. However, Imae revealed that one of the two had been killed. Though these two are technically Tals, Imae also stated that they are not counted among the nine.
  • In the Tal-nori, the Seonbi character developed an attraction to the Bune character. This seems to be paralleled in the story where Saeha appears to have some sort of feelings for Ara.
  • There are other characters in the webtoon, such as Cheoyong, who appear to be based off masks from other mask dramas. Like Juze, these characters do not appear to be counted among the nine Tals.
  • Originally there were as many as fourteen masks used in the Hahoe Tal-nori; however, only some of these masks have survived to the present day, and they are now considered to be national treasures. It is these masks the webtoon Tals are based on.
  • According to legend, the reason the Imae mask is the only one without a lower jaw is because the creator of the masks died before being able to complete it.

ReferencesEdit

  1. TAL, Part 1 Season 2: 01
  2. TAL, Part 1 Season 2: 04
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 TAL, Part 1 Season 2: 39
  4. TAL, Part 1 Season 1: 28

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