Shrine for Mountain God(山神堂)

Shrine for Mountain God

Headword

산신당 ( 山神堂 , Sansindang )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Village Gods > Ritual Venues

Writer KimMyungja(金明子)

Sansindang is the term for village shrines for Sansin (Mountain God), located on the hillside or at the foot of the guardian mountain behind the village.

Alternate terms for mountain god shrines include sanjedang, sansingak, and sallyeonggak. When a mountain is believed to be sacred, its spirit is worshipped as a deity. A shrine that is located in the village and not in the mountains but dedicated to a mountain god is also called sansindang.

The deity enshrined in sansindang can be male or female, or sometimes a heterosexual pair is enshrined together. Inside, a tablet for the mountain god, or a painting of the deity is enshrined. If the deity is based on a historical figure, a wood carving or a clay figurine is enshrined, accompanied by a wooden or clay horse.

Tablets are inscribed in ink with the Chinese characters “○○山神之位, ” or “○○山靈之位, ” meaning “Tablet for the God of ○○ Mountain, ” marking the place for the deity and the specific name of the mountain, which signifies that Sansin were regional gods associated with specific villages and communities.

Buddhist temple compounds often have a separate pavilion dedicated to Sansin, or the deity is enshrined in Samseonggak (Trinity Pavilion) along with Chilseong (Seven Stars) and Dokseong (Pindola Bharadvaja). In these pavilions, Sansin is enshrined in the form of a painting of an old man with white hair and beard, seated with a tiger by his side. The fact that most Buddhist temples in Korea enshrine the mountain god underlines the deity’s importance as a universal village god and the spread of its worship in both shamanism and Buddhism.

Shrine for Mountain God

Shrine for Mountain God
Headword

산신당 ( 山神堂 , Sansindang )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Village Gods > Ritual Venues

Writer KimMyungja(金明子)

Sansindang is the term for village shrines for Sansin (Mountain God), located on the hillside or at the foot of the guardian mountain behind the village.

Alternate terms for mountain god shrines include sanjedang, sansingak, and sallyeonggak. When a mountain is believed to be sacred, its spirit is worshipped as a deity. A shrine that is located in the village and not in the mountains but dedicated to a mountain god is also called sansindang.

The deity enshrined in sansindang can be male or female, or sometimes a heterosexual pair is enshrined together. Inside, a tablet for the mountain god, or a painting of the deity is enshrined. If the deity is based on a historical figure, a wood carving or a clay figurine is enshrined, accompanied by a wooden or clay horse.

Tablets are inscribed in ink with the Chinese characters “○○山神之位, ” or “○○山靈之位, ” meaning “Tablet for the God of ○○ Mountain, ” marking the place for the deity and the specific name of the mountain, which signifies that Sansin were regional gods associated with specific villages and communities.

Buddhist temple compounds often have a separate pavilion dedicated to Sansin, or the deity is enshrined in Samseonggak (Trinity Pavilion) along with Chilseong (Seven Stars) and Dokseong (Pindola Bharadvaja). In these pavilions, Sansin is enshrined in the form of a painting of an old man with white hair and beard, seated with a tiger by his side. The fact that most Buddhist temples in Korea enshrine the mountain god underlines the deity’s importance as a universal village god and the spread of its worship in both shamanism and Buddhism.