Ki is a basket for winnowing grains and is used as a sorcery tool for fortunetelling or in rituals.
Woven of bamboo or willow, a winnow basket measures between 50 to 70 centimeters in width and 70 to 100 centimeters in length. Its function of sifting grains from chaff is reinterpreted in folk belief as that of sorting out impurities and uncertainties, and thus used for problem-solving and decision-making.
The most common uses of winnow baskets as a sorcery tool are for harvest divination and rainmaking. In farming households, on the morning of Jeongwoldaeboreum (Great Full Moon), the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, a winnow basket containing five-grain rice, cooked vegetables, cotton seeds, and a mix of grains is taken to the farm’s cow as a means of telling the fortunes for the coming harvest, determined by which food the cow eats first: Rice and cooked vegetables are for determining how the year’s harvest will turn out; the mixed grains and cotton seeds are for determining how the harvest for the individual crops will turn out. Winnow baskets are also used for the rain rite giuje, by the women of the village who head out to the river and wash the baskets to pray for rain, based on the belief that the impurities from the baskets will contaminate the river, which will anger the gods and bring rain. The rite also includes prayers performed by women while splashing water by the river or a well, which is based on the belief that enacting a scene that resembles a rain shower will bring rain in reality as well.
Winnow baskets are also used for offering food to lesser spirits and miscellaneous ghosts (japgwijapsin). As part of the ritual antaek, held in the first lunar month to pray for peace in the home, a ritual table is set up right outside the rooms or in the yard, for lesser spirits, using a winnow basket as a table, with straw mats laid over it in the shape of a cross, on which the sacrificial foods are arranged, sometimes with proper offerings, or with small morsels collected from the ritual tables in other rooms.