Calamity Fixing Ritual

Headword

동토잡기 ( Dongtojapgi )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Household Gods > Rites and Officiants

Writer ImSeungbum(林承範)
Date of update 2019-01-31

Dongtojapgi is a ritual for undoing accidents or healing diseases caused by mishandling of soil, metals or wood.

Dongto, or dongti, is a term that means, “to dig up land that should not be touched, ” which has come to refer to calamities caused by the mishandling of objects that according to folk belief require special attention regarding dates and directions. Soil, metal or wooden objects are most prone to this damage, which can also occur when moving household goods or during house repairs, from mishandling the sauce jar terrace or by picking up something that another person has lost. When a person with impurities enters the house he can bring calamities, which is called indongto, “in” meaning “human.” Dongto causes illness in a person, accompanying various symptoms including lethargy or loss of eyesight, which modern medicine cannot seem to cure.

There are many healing rituals for such symptoms, and each village usually has a healer specializing in dongto, who are called to the home of the patient to perform a ritual reciting the Dongto Scriptures from memory twenty-one times while knocking an ax with a sickle or a hammer. When symptoms are grave, a fortuneteller or sorcerer is called to perform a recitation ritual with a table of sacrificial offerings. If the calamity has been caused by an improper cutting of a tree, it must be undone by sprinkling salt and mugwort on the trunk of the felled tree and reciting the Dongto Scriptures.

Calamity Fixing Ritual

Calamity Fixing Ritual
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Household Gods > Rites and Officiants

Writer ImSeungbum(林承範)
Date of update 2019-01-31

Dongtojapgi is a ritual for undoing accidents or healing diseases caused by mishandling of soil, metals or wood. Dongto, or dongti, is a term that means, “to dig up land that should not be touched, ” which has come to refer to calamities caused by the mishandling of objects that according to folk belief require special attention regarding dates and directions. Soil, metal or wooden objects are most prone to this damage, which can also occur when moving household goods or during house repairs, from mishandling the sauce jar terrace or by picking up something that another person has lost. When a person with impurities enters the house he can bring calamities, which is called indongto, “in” meaning “human.” Dongto causes illness in a person, accompanying various symptoms including lethargy or loss of eyesight, which modern medicine cannot seem to cure. There are many healing rituals for such symptoms, and each village usually has a healer specializing in dongto, who are called to the home of the patient to perform a ritual reciting the Dongto Scriptures from memory twenty-one times while knocking an ax with a sickle or a hammer. When symptoms are grave, a fortuneteller or sorcerer is called to perform a recitation ritual with a table of sacrificial offerings. If the calamity has been caused by an improper cutting of a tree, it must be undone by sprinkling salt and mugwort on the trunk of the felled tree and reciting the Dongto Scriptures.