The Number of Chollimas on Stamps Grows and Grows!

North Korea

As a relatively new member of the Korea Stamp Society (KSS), I was attracted by the many articles about the images of Chollimas on stamps, especially of those of North Korea (DPRK) on the KSS website. The first article I noticed was posted on the KSS website on June 24, 2020.  I made the comment on the article that I knew of some more North Korean stamps that depicted the Chollima. My collection has over 6000 different stamps from North Korea, many of them depicting the Chollima. The KSS asked me if I could make images of them and then they would post them on the website. I found around 165 different North Korea stamps with the Chollima, some of them have been previously shown on the KSS website, but this article will be the first of many that start to show all the stamps that my collection contains with the image of the Chollima.

Before we start with my stamps, let us review a little information about the Chollima image and why it is seen so often on North Korean stamps.

The origins of the Chollima can be traced back to Chinese mythology, where it is known as the “thousand-li horse “, referring to its ability to travel 1,000 li (4000 kilometres) in a single day. It also was said that it could not be ridden by any person, although in North Korea the Chollima is almost always shown being ridden. In North Korea, the Chollima has taken on a unique significance and has become a symbol of the country’s political ideology. The Chollima is known for accomplishing the most difficult tasks and for having led heroes to great victories. The idea of using the Chollima was Kim Il-sung’s way to energize the workers in North Korea to bring the country out of the ruins of the Korean War, to obtain a better life for the North Koreans, and to make the country more prosperous in a short amount of time. Kim Il-sung called the program the “Chollima Movement” which was to encourage the North Koreans to work harder and faster, like the Chollima to achieve rapid industrialization.

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