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…

Breath: Have the Diving Women of Jeju Island Been Using World Record Holder (Iceman) Wim Hof’s Cold Exposure Method for the Last 1500 Years?

July 6, 2016 joeyrositano Haenyo, Jeju Island, Uncategorized, Women DiversAnthropology, Asian culture, breath hold diving, Cold endurance, Diving, free diving, Haenyo,Hyperventilation, Iceman, Jeju Island, Korea, Shamanism, South Korea, Sumbisori, Traditional Culture, Vim Hof, Vim Hof Method, Woman Diver, Women Divers In the winter of 2015, I first saw Wim Hof, the incredible Iceman, on Vice.com. Hof is known for an amazing array of feats, many of which involve withstanding extreme arctic temperatures while experiencing little or no negative…

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…

Jeju’s Shrines Under Attack #2/ Yerae

Check out the first post of this series HERE: Jeju’s Shrines Under Attack #1/ Tears in Seongsan Village After writing the above post on the shamanic shrine that was destroyed in Seongsan Village, an act which left Jeju Island’s famed women divers without a sanctuary in which to pray, I come across yet another disappeared shrine. Like…

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,…

Sulsaemit Shrine on the Verge of Being Lost?

Recently I’ve been writing about Jeju Island’s threatened traditional shamanic shrines. I’ve just come from an alarming sight and though don’t have time for a proper post, I’d like to share the photos I took this morning of the development happening around the historic and cultural treasure site of Sulsaemit Shrine. Please read this post…

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…

Jeju Island’s Deities #5: Who is the Highest Goddess in the Land? Myoungjinguk Grandmother Goddess, Giver of Life.

“Who is Myoungjinguk Grandmother?” Great Shaman Im looked at me like I was dense. “Myoungjinguk Grandmother,” she said, incredulous, “is the grandmother goddess who came from the sky, the highest grandmother there is. She’s the grandmother who is above everyone on Jeju Island, in Korea, America–she’s the highest in all the world.” I actually hadn’t…