Insertion of grains into the mouth of the deceased(飯含)

Insertion of grains into the mouth of the deceased

Headword

반함 ( 飯含 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Sangnye|Jangnye

Writer ChoiWoonsik(崔雲植)

The funeral procedure of inserting rice, beads, or coins into the mouth of the deceased person.

There are old records of the funerary custom in which glutinous rice, gold, jade, or other precious objects are inserted into the mouth of the deceased before the body is placed in the coffin; today, however, macerated rice was used instead. The chief mourner put three spoonfuls of macerated rice into the deceased’s mouth with a willow spoon, after the body had been washed and shrouded. The rice is first spooned into the right side of the mouth, then the left, and finally in the middle. When giving the first spoon, the chief mourner uttered, “Here are one hundred bags of rice for you.” Then, “Here are one thousand bags of rice, ” and finally, “Here are ten thousand bags of rice.” The process was then followed by the placing of coins, jade ornaments, or other precious gems inside the mouth. Likewise, the chief mourner uttered, “Here are one hundred coins, ” “Here are one thousand coins, ” and “Here are ten thousand coins.”

The rice, coins, and jade ornaments used for the custom of banham were regarded as the food or money required by the deceased during or after his or her journey to the underworld. The custom is also known to be related to the wishes of the descendants for the deceased to gain wealth in the next world. The use of a willow spoon originated in the Korean folk tradition of taking animals and plants that reproduce prolifically as symbols of fertility. Willow, for example, was admired for its outstanding reproductive capacity as it proliferates on the riverside and sprouting in early spring. Hence, the willow spoon used for the banham procedure represented earnest wishes for the deceased to live a good life in the next world.

Insertion of grains into the mouth of the deceased

Insertion of grains into the mouth of the deceased
Headword

반함 ( 飯含 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Sangnye|Jangnye

Writer ChoiWoonsik(崔雲植)

The funeral procedure of inserting rice, beads, or coins into the mouth of the deceased person.

There are old records of the funerary custom in which glutinous rice, gold, jade, or other precious objects are inserted into the mouth of the deceased before the body is placed in the coffin; today, however, macerated rice was used instead. The chief mourner put three spoonfuls of macerated rice into the deceased’s mouth with a willow spoon, after the body had been washed and shrouded. The rice is first spooned into the right side of the mouth, then the left, and finally in the middle. When giving the first spoon, the chief mourner uttered, “Here are one hundred bags of rice for you.” Then, “Here are one thousand bags of rice, ” and finally, “Here are ten thousand bags of rice.” The process was then followed by the placing of coins, jade ornaments, or other precious gems inside the mouth. Likewise, the chief mourner uttered, “Here are one hundred coins, ” “Here are one thousand coins, ” and “Here are ten thousand coins.”

The rice, coins, and jade ornaments used for the custom of banham were regarded as the food or money required by the deceased during or after his or her journey to the underworld. The custom is also known to be related to the wishes of the descendants for the deceased to gain wealth in the next world. The use of a willow spoon originated in the Korean folk tradition of taking animals and plants that reproduce prolifically as symbols of fertility. Willow, for example, was admired for its outstanding reproductive capacity as it proliferates on the riverside and sprouting in early spring. Hence, the willow spoon used for the banham procedure represented earnest wishes for the deceased to live a good life in the next world.