World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Nobi

Article Id: WHEBN0007188916
Reproduction Date:

Title: Nobi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cheonmin, Korean caste system, God of War (TV series), Husbands in Goa, History of Korea
Collection: History of Korea, Korean Caste System, Korean Culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Nobi

Nobi
Hangul 노비
Hanja 奴婢
Revised Romanization Nobi
McCune–Reischauer Nopi

Nobi is a term for the historically lowest caste in historic Korean society. It is the Sino-Korean word for a system of servitude in place between the 4th and 19th centuries. Its status diminished greatly during the latter half of the Joseon Dynasty, and it was eventually abolished (along with other aspects of the sinbun class system) with the adoption of the Gabo Reforms (1894–1896). Nobi can refer to both the system itself and to the people in the system.

History

Like the slaves, serfs, and indentured servants better known in the Western Hemisphere, nobi were considered property or chattel. They could be bought, sold, and given as gifts. Their owners were responsible for their care and well-being, and to a certain extent, legally responsible for their actions. In practice however, virtually no legal protection was accorded to nobi.

Nobi could own property in many cases, and were allowed to marry and rear children. Acceptable marriage arrangements for nobi differed according to circumstance. Occasionally they could marry commoners, or in a few cases, could become concubines to their owners. More often, however, they could only marry other nobi. Children born from nobi marriages were sometimes made nobi, or commoners, or were even abandoned altogether -- as decided by the nobi's owner.

Nobi were often made to work as servants, such as in the households of members of the Yangban class, or as field laborers, or as public servants in the courts. They were often people being punished for the commission of a crime or the failure to pay a debt. However, becoming a nobi voluntarily was possible; this might be done to escape crushing poverty. Some were tattooed with a distinguishing mark to denote their status and to dissuade escape.

The term nobi, and its proper translation into English, has been a subject of debate among historians. Some Korean scholars argue that the designation nobi refers to a servant class system (compare with serf and indentured servant), whereas noye (distinct from nobi) is the designation for slavery. However, many historians usually consider nobi to be slavery. The issue of whether nobi can be classified as slaves, serfs, or both, has been subject to academic debate.[1]

The motivations for abolishing the institution of nobi with the Gabo Reforms, along with the entire sinbun hierarchical class system, are sometimes questioned. Some claim that the reforms were due solely to the actions of pro-Japanese factions in the Korean government. However, another major impetus for the reforms was the occurrence of the Donghak Peasant Revolution, an anti-government, anti-Yangban uprising of the lower classes in Korean society.

See also

References

  1. ^ Bok Rae Kim (23 November 2004). "Nobi: A Korean System of Slavery". In Gwyn Campbell. Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia. Routledge. pp. 153–156.  
  • Palais, James B. (1996), "Chapter 6", Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions: Yu Kyŏngwŏn and the Late Chosŏn Dynasty, Seattle: University of Washington Press,  
  • Rhee, Young-hoon; Yang, Donghyu, in American Mirror: Yi Dynasty Coerced Labor in Comparison to Slavery in the Antebellum Southern United States Nobi Korean 
  • Lee In-Cheol (March 2003). 한국 고대사회에서 노비와 노비노동의 역할 [Slave and the Role of Slave Labor in the Ancient Korea]. The Journal of Korean Ancient History (in Korean) (Society for Korean Ancient History) 29. 
  • Lawson, Konrad M. (April 7, 2005). "Nobi: Rescuing the Nation from Slavery". Muninn. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.