Sindae, literally spirit-receiving pole, is a bamboo pole or rod used in Korean folk religion to receive, or to move, a god, from the sky, from deep inside the mountaiun, or from a shrine.
An alternate version of the term is singan, and these poles also serve as markers of prohibited spaces, and include village guardian deity poles (seonangdae), farmings flags (nonggi) and sacred poles (sotdae).
Divines poles are generally used for village tutelary rituals (dongje) and also during shamanic rituals.
To prepare for a village tutelary rite, ritual officials (jegwan) must be selected, a process in which a divine pole is used. A shaman or fortuneteller is hired to use the pole to decide who should serve as ritual official. The pole is also used during the village ritual to determine whether the spirit has descended, which is communicated through tremors, in the pole or in the rattle attached to the pole.
When holding large-scale shamanic rituals, the shaman erects a divine pole for the descent of Cheonwang (Celestial King) or Dongsin (Village God). The pole, in this case, is quite tall, the top made of fresh bamboo stalk with the leaves intact.
When there are impurities, it takes several attempts for the spirit to descend.
Seonangdae, or village guardian deity poles, serve as a cosmic tree, or the divine altar tree (sindansu) as defined in Korean history, that serves as a divine channel between the heavens and the earth, with the roots stretching toward the center of the earth to receive its energy and the branches reaching for the heavens.
Nonggi, or farmings flags, represent each farming village and are considered divine, carrying the spirit of a deity with miraculous powers.
Sotdae, or sacred poles, are wooden poles with a carved bird attached to the top. While village guardian deity poles are portable, sacred poles are erected in a fixed location, usually at village entrances next to village guardian posts (jangseung) to protect the community against bad fortune and calamities.