Death-Appeasing Underworld Entry Ritual(恶鬼巫祭)
Ogugut is a shamanic ritual to pray for the rebirth of the dead in the heavens by appeasing the deceased and guiding its spirit to the underworld.
Variations of the term include ogu, ogwi, ogwisaenamgut and keungut. The ritual is observed mostly in the south coast regions of Gyeongsang Province and along the east coast. Belonging to the same category of rituals for appeasing the spirit of the dead and praying for the well-being of the living, are jinogigut, the underworld entry ritual from the Seoul area and the grievance cleansing ritual ssitgimgut from South Jeolla Province.
Southern Coast Ogugut is practiced today in Geoje and Tongyeong in South Gyeongsang Province. The ritual procedure comprises the retrieval of the spirit of the dead and its return to the village; enshrining the dead in the home and inviting various deities to entertain them; cleansing the spirit of the dead and related impurities to guide the dead to the underworld; and finally, hosting the miscellaneous gods and spirits.
Eastern Coast Ogugut is practiced in regions along the east coast, from the northern tip of Goseong, Gangwon Province, all the way down to Busan, South Gyeongsang Province. Prior to the main ritual, a cleansing ritual is held, arranging a “place for the dead, ” which symbolizes the coffin. Then the spirit of the deceased person is invited to meet with that of a deceased ancestor. This is followed by a prayer wishing for the dead to go to a good place, then the ascension of the spirit, which is carried out by lifting the paper symbol of the deceased soul using the paper flower jihwa, signifying the rebirth of the deceased. The ritual ends with a farewell to the departing spirit, praying for its safe journey to the heavens.
Sanogugut, or underworld entry ritual for the living, is held to pray for the good fortunes in life and entry to the heavens in death for one who is still alive, a practice observed by hereditary shamans (seseummu) of the eastern coast regions.