Jeju Island’s Haenyo: A User’s Manual, interview with a young diver

The truth is, I am the same person in the water and out of the water. I’m just a person trying to make a living like everyone else. Don’t think of me as a woman diver. Think of me as a person. I want people to know that I’m not doing this work because I couldn’t go to school or was born poor. No, that’s not it. I’m a woman diver because I chose to be a diver.

* 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…

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,…