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…

Field Notes #1: “Solstice.” (Video)

My documentary on Jeju Island’s shamanic culture (Sprits: The Story of Jeju Island’s Shamanic Shrines) will debut this September. I’ll be sharing plenty of extras on my youtube channel . I’ve been researching and filming the project for five years, so there is plenty to come. This clip is from a series I’m calling ‘Field Notes’. In…

Year Ender

  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…

Bijinangkae Shrine

Bijinankae Shrine Legend “In Daejeong County you’ll find Bijinanggae Shrine, seated below a great tree, is the shrine Grandmother Goddess. She’s a Grandmother you visit on the 7th day of the Lunar month, come with a pure heart and clean of all taboo. Ask for fortune for your children, if you hold a ceremony here,…

Jeju’s Shrines Under Attack #1/ Tears in Seongsan Village

In the winter of 2013, Sulsaemit Shrine, a traditional place of worship for followers of Jeju Island’s native shamanic religion, was deliberately desecrated at the hands of unknown culprits. I have written about our group’s (the Senjari Rangers) efforts to restore this natural sanctuary where people in the area have worshipped for some hundreds of…

Village Grandmothers Return to Pray at Desecrated Sulsaemit Shrine

Sulsaemit shrine has been thoroughly cleaned by Jeju locals and expats, an event organized by the new activist group the ‘Senjari Rangers’. Last night, on the traditional ceremonial date, January 7th by the lunar calendar, at least one elderly worshipper attended the shrine and left an offering to the village’s tutelary gods, Grandmother Go, Grandfather…

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.