A Guide to Shamanism on Jeju Island, Part Two: Post Four: Baekjjudo’s Sons

Baekjuddo and Seochunguk’s eighteen sons are great mountain deities in their villages. These gods, the hunter lords of the mountain, are often paired with powerful goddesses. In some cases, these ‘couple gods’ or bubaegan/bubushin reside in seperate, but nearby shrines. Shamans lead rituals dedicated to these gods in lunar January, on the 14th day of…

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…

The Traditional Village Shamans of Jeju Island, South Korea: PHOTO ESSAY

I’m putting together some of my photographic and video work from documenting  shamanic tradition over the last six years. This is the first series, focusing on the shamans of Jeju Island, South Korea in the context of shrine ceremonies. SKIP TO FULL PHOTO ESSAY The shamans of Jeju Island, South Korea, like other shamans across…

The Shamanic Spiritual Life of Jeju Island, South Korea’s Traditional Women Free Divers. Short Documentary: The Youngdeung Gods Visit Jeju Island

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…