Korean Tiger Tote


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The Tiger, although not native to Korea, has often been found referenced in Korean culture. It appears in not only the Korean foundation mythology but also in folklore, as well as a favourite subject of Korean art such as painting and sculpture. The mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea is Hodori, a stylized tiger to represent the Korean people. According to the myth, a bear and a tiger wished to become human beings. The bear turned into a woman by observing the commandments to eat only mugwort and garlic for 100 days in the cave. But the tiger couldn’t endure the ordeal and ran off, failing to realize its wish. The mountainous landscape of Korea was once home to a large tiger population, so much so that the country was popularly known as the “Land of Tigers.” Korea was also once called the “land of the exceptional people who know how to tame the tiger,” demonstrating the close relationship between tigers and the Korean people.