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Korean Shamanism

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Jasmin Barnwell

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of Korean Shamanism

Korean Shamanism Jasmin Barnwell What Are The Main Forms of Gut? How do shamans become shamans? Spirit Sickness/shinbyeong Types of Shamans Examples Role of the Shaman There Are 4 Primary Forms of Gut. History Gut/Kut/굿 What are the components of Korean Shamanism? What is Korean Shamanism? Mudangs: Primarily female shamans responsible for being mediators between the spirit world and human world. Broken down into two categories; Kangshinmu & Seseummu.

Shinbyeong: Spirit Sickness; the rite in which a new shaman is inducted. Performed along with naerim-gut.

Gut/Kut: Shamanistic rituals of sacrifice to gods and or spirits. The "sacrifice" is a performance of song and/or dance meant to appease or repel the spirit.


There are a total of 24 different forms of gut rituals. The main reason for the multitude of forms is the various reasons and regions in which they might be used.

Ex. Seoul Deunggut: The prayers of a successful harvest Naerim-gut (내림굿)

Dodang-gut (도당굿)

Ssitgim-gut (씻김굿)

Chaesu-gut (채수굿)

Naerim Gut

Dodang Gut

Ssitgim Gut

The female shaman is responsible for acting as a bridge between the human world and the spirit world. When a mudang participates in a Gut, she is supposed to create balance. During a Gut a shaman is required to leave their gender open, meaning they have to be able to allow a spirit or god of the opposite sex access for them to be used. The shamans generally involve themselves in dangerous practices, such as knife dancing. The type of shaman one is depends on where they are from:

Northern

Kangshinmu: Generally found in the Central and Northern areas of Korea. Kangshinmu are to have been possessed by a god.

Mudang: Shamans that were possessed by a specific type of god called a momju.

Sonmudang/Posal: Subcategory of mudangs, they are not allowed to preside over certain events due to their lower status. A male shaman in this category is called a paksu

Myongdu: Shamans that become possessed by a dead spirit instead of being possessed by a god. They allow the dead to come into their home which doubles as a shrine. Shamans typically wear bright and colorful clothing during ceremonies. With some exception to wearing all white during funerals. During certain guts they may dress as the god or war spirit that they are trying to summon. Shamanism in Korea dates back to almost 5,000 years and is the oldest belief system in the country.
The approximate dates for when shamanism started in Korea fall within the Korean Bronze Age. And reached it's peak during the time of the Three Kingdoms.
At various times, those who believed or practiced shamanism were referred to as a low class or chonmin. This belief was aggravated by Christian missionaries who came to the country and demonized the culture. Musokshinang: Shamanism, also known as Muism (Mugyo) or Sinism (Shingyo)

Shamanism in Korea dates back to almost 5,000 years and is the oldest belief system in the country
.
The approximate dates for when shamanism started in Korea fall within the Korean Bronze Age. And reached it's peak during the time of the Three Kingdoms.

At various times, those who believed or practiced shamanism were referred to as a low class or chonmin. This belief was aggravated by Christian missionaries who came to the country and demonized the culture.

Used to cure illness, exorcise spirits, invite prosperity and fortune telling. In some instances, there are animistic uses, like fishing and agriculture.

Over time Korean Shamanism has blended with Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism.

Works Cited
"First Seoul International Consultation:Christianity and Shamanism." Chapter 2, Christianity and Shamanism: Korean Shamanism. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.oxfordu.net/seoul/chapter2/>.

"An Introduction to Korean Shamanism." An Introduction to Korean Shamanism. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://heinzinsufenkl.net/knives.html>.

Kim, Chungho. "Korean Shamanism:." Google Books. Google, n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://books.google.com/books?id=963cjw7JtzcC>.

"Korean Shamanism, The Origins of Indigenous Culture." Korean Shamanism, The Origins of Indigenous Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.xip.fi/atd/korea/korean-shamanism-the-origins-of-indigenous-culture.html>.

Walraven, Boudewijn. "National Pantheon, Regional Deities, Personal Spirits? Mushindo, Sngsu, and the Nature of Korean Shamanism." Asian Ethnology 68.01 (2009): 55-80. JSTOR. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/25614521>.
Southern

Seseummu: These shamans are generally located south of the Han River. Their ability to become shamans is available through family bloodlines.

Shimbang: Somewhat similar to the kangshimu, however the ability to conduct events is passed down through bloodline and they are not possessed by gods or spirits. Instead they consult the other world through a medium or mujomgu. Their spirit does not become one with the god or spirit it summons.

Tang'ol: The shamans located at the southern most points of Korea. Their serving to gods or goddesses are through song and dance and are allowed to channel them through the dance. When they are initiated, they do not receive a god. They also do not have shrines in their homes and do not have a set belief in a specific god. Spirit sickness is the way most shamans acquire their abilities, the way one becomes spirit sick varies on where they live. When a shaman is spirit sick, sometimes they become mentally and physically weak, fall into a psychotic episode. A spirit sickness can last from 8 to 30 years and are not curable with regular medicine. Dress Knife Dancing
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