General Nam I Ritual
Nam I Janggun Sadangje (Kor. 남이장군사당제, Chin. 南怡將軍祠堂祭, lit. service at the Shrine of General Nam I) refers to a ceremony that honors the memory of the famous general Nam I (1441-1468) of the early Joseon period (1392- 16th century). Nam I, a brave general who was accused of treason and executed, was deified and worshipped in the shamanistic faith of the central regions along with other illustrious military heroes of the past, such as Choe Yeong (1316-1388) and General Im Gyeong-eop (1594-1646). The ritual that pays homage to General Nam I is currently protected by the City of Seoul under the designation of Seoul Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 20.
The shrine in which this rite is held houses the portrait of the deified General Choe Yeong, pictures of two shamanistic gods Cheonsin Daegam (Kor. 천신대감, Chin. 天神大監, lit. Heavenly Lord) and Maengin Naeoe (Kor. 맹인내외, Chin. 盲人內外, lit. Blind Man and His Wife), and two unidentified portraits.
At the beginning of the ritual, the chief priest and twelve other officiants perform geollip (Kor. 걸립, Chin. 乞粒), or the begging for grain. They hang lanterns in the four corners of the shrine, play music, and dance. Afterwards, the officiants accompanied by selected local residents head out to the village in a procession led by a flag bearer carrying the yonggi (Kor. 용기, Chin. 龍旗, lit. dragon banner). The geollip troupe stops at each house, plays music, and collects grain and money. Households put their donations on a tray and place it in the yard. On the tray is a bowl of rice in which a spoon tied with a thread is planted vertically with two candles on either side. Money is placed underneath the bowl. In response to the generosity of a donor, the geollip troupe prays for the peace and fortune of the household, plays music in the yard, takes the dragon flag into the interior of the house, and waves it several times.
The main part of the ritual takes place when the troupe returns back to the shrine; it is performed by six shamans and three musicians (playing the piri (Kor. 피리, small reed flute), jeotdae (Kor. 젓대, flute) and haegeum (Kor. 해금, Chin. 奚琴, two stringed zither)). The shamans begin with an exorcism that purifies the place of bad energy. Then the shamans and musicians take to the street, parading through village. At the conclusion of the ritual, villagers gather together and enjoy dancing in the outfit of a shaman, known as mugam (Kor. 무감) or sinchum (Kor. 신춤). On the fourth day after the ritual, another ceremony called saryeje (Kor. 사례제, Chin. 謝禮祭) is held in order to thank the General Nam I god for his favorable disposition toward the village.