A Guide to Shamanism on Jeju Island, Part Two: Post Four: Baekjjudo’s Sons

Baekjuddo and Seochunguk’s eighteen sons are great mountain deities in their villages. These gods, the hunter lords of the mountain, are often paired with powerful goddesses. In some cases, these ‘couple gods’ or bubaegan/bubushin reside in seperate, but nearby shrines. Shamans lead rituals dedicated to these gods in lunar January, on the 14th day of…

A Guide to Shamanism on Jeju Island, Part Two: Post One: The Shrine Gods

Let’s depart from the familial home and move out into the village. Now, we’ll look at the deities residing within shrines, the gods who make themselves available for healing, to receive prayer and issue blessings in each of Jeju’s villages. The history of each shamanic shrine is detailed. Each village has its own myths. Furthermore,…

Jeju Island’s Haenyo: A User’s Manual, Should I Stay or Should I go? Interview with a young person who left Jeju Island, Feminist Journalist R.L.

Should I stay or should I go? It’s a question virtually all the youth of Jeju Island have to ask themselves at some point. For many, especially academic achievers, to stay isn’t really an option. Good schools and opportunity lie elsewhere—the mainland or abroad. This is the second of a mini-installation of interviews in the Jeju Island’s Haenyo: A User’s Manual series of posts about the younger generation of Jeju women and their choices. I spoke with R.L., who is a twenty-eight year old journalist, writing for one of few South Korean publications that offer cultural criticism as a mainstay. R.L. talks…

A Guide to Shamanism on Jeju Island, Post Nine: Snake Shrines

Snake deity worship is not limited only to the pantries and gardens of Jeju Island homes. There are also village shrines dedicated to the worship of serpents—whose origins differ from that of the Chilseong gods. These deities play the role of shrine deities, like those found in all Jeju villages. In the case of these…

A Guide to Shamanism on Jeju Island, Post Five: The House Gods Redux

The Gods of the Munjeon Epic Redux: Yeosan Buin—The Hearth Goddess, protects Jeju women in their daily lives, gives them strength to manage their work and their families, her epic serves to reinforce the independent spirit needed to overcome hardship and survive as an island woman Namseonbi—the compost shed god, the father of the Munjeon…