A Tal is indicated in ancient Chinese as a face, a face tool, a fake head, a mask, an alternative face, etc. In Korean, it has been called as Tal(mask), Talbak, Talbagasi (a mask made from a calabash), Kwangdae (puppeteer), Chorani (an exorcist who appears in womans dress at a court rite) but, in general, is now commonly known as Tal (hereafter indicated as mask) and sometimes categorized into a face tool mask that covers the whole face, and a fake head or a style head that covers the whole head.

The word Tal means not only a mask but also a disaster or a disease as in the word [Talnatda (getting out of order or becoming ill)]. For example, when the stomach aches after one eats wrong foods, we call it Baetal (stomachache). We also call it Talnatda(run into trouble and break down) when wounded area worsens or some thing goes wrong. Also, actors on the road call Talnolli (a masque) as Dutbeoigi, which means seeing something by wearing something else [This sentence does not make sense; made the best judgement] The reason that a mask was used as due to a belief that a demon or a counter-God that brings disasters or diseases needs to be expelled by putting something more fearful or more powerful. People were hesitant about keeping this type of mask near. Not only Bangsangssi which were used in the funeral but also masks which were used as keepers of the village were kept in sharmans house which was a little far from the village.

It is regarded that a mask were originally used as a disguise by primitive men who engaged in hunting activities to approach to animals which were the objects of their hunting, which later had the meaning to console the souls of the killed animals, and the purpose of the black art to keep the magical power in the body. It has been a gradual process in which a mask was used as a ritual.

The first mask excavated in Korea was Bangsangssi which was excavated from Ho-woo tomb at Noseo-ri of Kyoungjoo city in 1946 and presumed to originate in the 6th-century Shilla dynasty. In addition, such old masks as Deokmulsan mask, Hahoe-tal which is designated as the National Treasure No. 121, Byoungsan-tal etc. exist.

Although there are many types of rituals and plays in which masks are used, Talnolli (a masque) which is currently registered as intangible cultural assets can be classified into the type of Haeseo Talchum (mask dance), Sandae Nolli (play), Okwangdae(play of five clowns) Ya (the out), Seonangshinjae Talchum (mask dance). There are mask dances of Bongsan, Kangryong, Eunyul in the types of Haeseo Talchum (mask dance), while there are Songpasandae Nolli and Yangjoobyolsandae Nolli (both type of a play). As the type of Okwangdae (play of five clowns), there are Tongyoung Okwangdae, Kosung Okwangdae, and Kasan Okwangdae, while Suyoung Ya and Dongrae Ya as the type of Ya (the out). As the Seonangshinjae Talchum (mask dance), there are Hahoe Byolsin Show Talnolli (maskque) and Kangreung Public Slave Nolli (play), and there is Dukbeoki as plays by actors on the road.