• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Tokhung-ri Tomb
Equestrian Figure
TitleEquestrian Figure
Equestrian figure on the western wall of the middle passage 01
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Equestrian figure on the western wall of the middle passage 02
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This is a detailed view of the equestrian figure in the Depiction of the Noble Couple’s Outing on the western wall of the middle passage. This is the top-left military attaché between the two equestrian figures leading the procession. The military attaché's position can be verified by his Chaek (Headwear worn by civil servants and military attachés. Civil servants wore Chaeks with tops that were split in the back and curving forward. Military attachés wore Chaeks with cone-shaped points.). The equestrian figures' faces and postures as well as the horses' details and stances are very similar. It can be inferred that the artists limited to mechanical depictions and weren't able to fully demonstrate their artistic vision due to time constraints.
The equestrian figure is wearing form-fitting trousers (Gung-go) that are comfortable for horseback riding. He is also wearing a Jeogori (traditional Korean upper garment) with a waist band, and the neckline, sleeves, and bottom hemline feature Seons (accents on garments mimicking the black feathers on a crane’s neck or wingtips, influenced by Siberian shamanism). These elements are key features of Koguryo attire.
The horse was rendered too small in comparison to the rider. The horses mainly used in Koguryo at the time weren't the large, long-legged Ferghana horses (literally "sweats blood horse" in Chinese) from the mountains of Central Asia but a type of short-legged pony found in the grasslands of Mongolia. Even so, the proportions of the horse are too unrealistic in comparison to the rider. Not only does the horse appear to be wearing black boots, but the legs are too slender for its body, making its overall appearance rather unusual. However, the horse's brown fur and well-developed muscles convey a sturdy appearance.