Sut, or wood charcoal, in Korean folk religion, is believed to possess the power to keep out evil forces.
When a new baby was born in the family, charcoal was tied to left-hand lay straw rope to hang as taboo rope (geumjul) for keeping out unclean persons and bad fortune, and the same rope was also placed inside sauce jars during fermentation process. Charcoal was sometimes offered as a sacrifice in household rituals for the kitchen deity Jowang.
Wood charcoal is an effective dehumidifier, and was mixed into the clay when constructing a house or building the stylobate of a house. It was also used in building tombs, to keep away insects or to prevent tree roots from penetrating.
The custom of sending a holiday gift to relatives before the arrival of Lunar New Year was called sechan, and gift items included special delicacies, cigarettes, fabric, and also wood charcoal, which indicates that charcoal was not only useful, but that high-quality charcoal was considered rare and sought after.