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Arrow Throwing

Tuho (Kor. 투호, Chin. 投壺, lit. throwing into a vase) is a game in which players are divided into two teams and throw arrows into a vase placed at a certain distance. The vases into which the arrows are thrown vary both in size and shape. The size of the arrows also differs, and each player is given a set of twelve arrows. Points are earned depending on the proximitiy of the arrow to the center of the vase. The game originated in China prior to the Han dynasty (BCE 206 - CE 220). It is mentioned i

Korean Seasonal Customs


Brother Sister Pagoda

This legend narrates the story of Nammaetap (Brother Sister Pagoda), erected to commemorate a Buddhist monk and a maiden who became sworn siblings and pursued religious discipline until they died on the very same day. According to oral transmission, the protagonist of this legend is Monk Sangwon of late Silla. Sangwon was engaged in religious discipline in a tent put up near the current location of Nammaetap when he happened to meet a maiden, together with whom he practiced religious devotion an

Korean Folk Literature


The Shaman Legacy

Mudangnaeryeok (The Shaman Legacy) is an illustrated book of each of the segments that make up the shamanic rituals of the Seoul area, written by an author with the pen name of Nangok. The book, now part of the collection at the Kyujanggak Archives at Seoul National University, comprises two volumes, each 14 pages long. The two volumes contain identical introductions, and the illustrations and the writings indicate that they were done by a single author. Date of publication is the fourth lunar m

Korean Folk Beliefs


Kitchen God

Jowang is a fire god that governs the kitchen and oversees the fortunes of the family and the health and welfare of their descendants. The kitchen is a place where humans can control and use fire for their purposes, where fire is used to cook food and to heat the house. The kitchen is also a space for the women of the house, and thus Jowang mother-in-law. The kitchen deity worshipped by the general public is a goddess, referred to as Jowanggaksi (Kitchen Maiden Goddess) or Jowanghalmae (Kitchen

Korean Folk Beliefs


Land Tutelary God

Teoju, or Land Tutelary God, resides on the grounds of a house, overseeing peace in the family and safety on the grounds. This deity is also called Teojusin, Teojutdaegam (Land Tutelary Official God), Teojuhalmae (Land Tutelary Grandmother) and Jisin (Earth God), and is worshipped in the form of the sacred entity teojutgari, placed in the backyard or by the sauce jar terrace. Teojutgari is an earthenware jar filled with the best grains of rice among the first harvest of the fall, covered with a

Korean Folk Beliefs


General Gang Gam-chan

This legend, in different variations, depicts Gang Gam-chan (948-1031), the renowned military com- mander of Goryeo known as one of the three greatest generals in Korean history, as a supernatural hero. Gang’s mythical accomplishments are recorded in documents and publications including Bohan ji p (Collection of Writings to Relieve Idleness) of Goryeo; Yong jaechonghwa (Assorted Writings o f Yong jae) of early Joseon; and Haedongi jeok (Extraordinary Lives f rom East of the Sea) of Joseon. Haedo

Korean Folk Literature


Paper Flower

Jihwa, or paper flowers, are ornaments used for expressing devotion to the gods in a shamanic ritual. Paper flower ornaments, also called sinmyeongkkot (spirit flower) or muhwa (shamanic flower), are considered sacred, on display for the purpose of entertaining the gods, of creating a venue where the deity will be surrounded by flowers while receiving the ritual, and they come in many different kinds with different uses and meanings. Geolliphwa (collector god flower) is used in bigscale rituals

Korean Folk Beliefs