Every year the Youngdeung Gods visit Jeju Island, South Korea bringing with them strong spring winds. These deities replenish the sea life as they travel their coarse from village to village along the coast. In Hamdeok Village, the shaman Young Cheol Kim presides over the ceremony, a ritualized banquet at which Jeju Island’s famed women divers…
Pagans We Are does TEDx (video inside)
This past November, I gave a TEDx talk on Jeju Island, where I’ve been documenting shamanic shrine culture for the past five years, as you well know if you follow my blog. I talk about my video and photography work and the importance of preserving sacred spaces, many of which are in danger on…
* visiting Jeju w/ daniel paul marshall
Originally posted on The Friday Influence:
photo by Joey Rositano This week’s post features a poem by Daniel Paul Marshall. Marshall writes about the Haenyeo, female divers from the Korean province of Jeju. The Hangul for the word, (해녀)roughly translates to sea women, and serves as the title for this poem. When I informed Marshall I…
Field Notes #2: Saewa Village’s Shamanic Shrines Were Burnt to the Ground
During the Anti-Superstition Movement of the 1970s, over one hundred of Jeju Island’s shamanic shrines were burnt, along with many holy relics. President Park Chung Hee’s government had implemented the misin-tapa as part of the movement for the modernization of South Korea. The aim of the misin-tapa was to eradicate traditional religion from rural communities, replacing it…
A brief post on some accomplishments of the last year and future plans for the blog and upcoming projects. THIS YEAR’S HIGHLIGHTS -Sulsaemit Shrine: One of this year’s highlights for sure, helping break the news about former Jukseong Village’s desecrated Sulsaemit Shrine. I helped form a group with the mission to restore the shrine…
Interview With Willow Paule about the Spirits Project
Willow Paule interviewed me about my work on the practice of shamanism on Jeju Island and my documentary Spirits which is about the generation of people who still worship devotedly at Jeju’s some 400 shrines. You can further explore Willow Paule’s work on Indonesia and her upcoming work on prison systems at her Facebook page.
Isn’t It Time to Talk About the Desecrated Shrine at Juksung? Jeju Island, South Korea.
Fourteen months ago a shamanistic shrine in Juksung Village, Jeju Island, South Korea was deliberately desecrated. Lunar January, the ceremonial period when the elderly make offerings is about 6 weeks away. So far, there have been no efforts to repair the shrine and little media coverage. I interviewed locals over the period of a year. I will be telling their story as part of a new edit of my documentary project on Jeju Island’s shrines.
“설새밋당은 이대로 사라지는가?” Isn’t It Time to Talk About the Desecrated Shrine at Juksung? (Korean Version)
Having spent two years exploring what role Jeju’s shrines play in the lives of island residents, there was no way I was going to leave these questions unanswered. I, too, like many islanders, both religious and secular, who heard news of the destruction, was offended to my core for reasons I will elaborate on.