Jangdokdae at Gyeongbok palace in Seoul

Jangdokdae at Gyeongbok palace in Seoul

Jangdokdae (Hangul:장독대) or Jangttokttae is an outside space, most frequently a terrace, where a series of jars are gathered.

The jars are a subkind of Jangdok (or Onggi), a Korean ethnic earthenware. They are used to ferment or simply store comestible goods, typically Kimchi, soybeans, bean and red pepper paste or grains.

Jangdok (Hangul:장독) means “a (big) jar” and dae (Hangul:대) means “place”, “support”… so jangdokdae (Hangul:장독대) means “place for jangdok(s)”. The jars are called hangari (Hangul:항아리) or onggi (Hangul:옹기).

This place is commonly found directly near traditional Korean houses, more precisely near the kitchen. Sunshine and ventilation are key aspects in the location choice, so that foods can be preserved and kept fresh. Well-preserved ingredients may stay for several years in the jars.

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