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,…

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…

A Guide to Shamanism on Jeju Island, Post Three: The Door God’s Epic

The Munjeon Epic—The Door God’s Myth (simplified plot) The following is the plot of Munjeon Bonpuri, the Door God’s epic, which relates to us the foundation myths of the household deities introduced in Post One. Keep in mind that the the following is the plot of the epic, not a direct translation of the epic itself. While some…

A Guide to Shamanism on Jeju Island, Post Two: Sacred Island

The house is sacred. The yard is sacred. The lanes are sacred. The village is sacred. The fields and wooded regions surrounding the village are sacred. The mountain is sacred. The sky and earth below are sacred. The sea is sacred. This world is sacred—populated with divine beings—gods and ancestor spirits. Halla Mountain, and the…

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

Let’s start with the home. Most lectures (as given by the handful of experts on the shamanism of Jeju Island) on the deities that reside within the Jeju Island home, start out with an illustration that looks something like this: It’s a typical Jeju floor plan (in the spirit of not being too formal—I’m going…