About Korea > Customs and Traditions

Personal Ornaments


Personal Ornaments

Personal Ornaments – Changshin-gu

In Korea, the original purpose of changshin-gu ornaments was not only to enhance one’s beauty but also to bring good luck and to case away the bad. They were also symbols reflecting the social status of the wearer.

The most representative include headdresses and hair accessories, necklaces, earrings, chest pieces, bracelets, court hats, rings and pendants.

During the Choson Dynasty, the use of rod hairpins was severely restricted with social status dictating the use of different material and shapes. Women of the royal court and high society wore rod pins made of gold, silver, peals, jade and coral, while those of lesser status were limited to ones made of wood, horn, nickel alloy and brass. The head shapes of the rod pins were also different according to social status. The queen and women of the royal court and high society wore pins shaped in the images of dragons and chinese phoenixes, while common folk were allowed only plain pins or those shaped like mushrooms.

The most representative item of personal ornamentation from the Choson Dynasty is the pendant. These were worn by women on the bows of their blouse or on their skirts. The pendants were made of various materials ranging from gold, silver, bronze, gemstones, jade and shells and came in a variety of design. Often the shapes were taken from objects that were part of everyday life.

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