Metal Horse(铁马)

Metal Horse

Headword

철마 ( 铁马 , Cheolma )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Village Gods > Sacred Entity

Writer LeeSena(李세나)

Cheolma is a metal horse enshrined and worshipped as a deity in village shrines.

Also called soemal or soemul, metal horses as objects of worship are observed around the country. They are simplified renditions of a horse’s image, between five to ten centimeters long, their legs quite short in proportion to the large torso, some legs missing or cut off at the knee. Metal horses are the most common, but clay or stone horses are also observed. These figurines are associated with a range of divinities, which vary by region and ritual, including the main village god, or an animal god ridden by one of the village gods. In some cases they serve as sacrifices offered to a village god.

Cheolma were also worshipped as village guardian gods that protected the community against attacks from tigers, and in villages with cauldron makers or earthenware potters, metal horses were offered as sacrifice and enshrined for successful business for the craftsmen.

Metal Horse

Metal Horse
Headword

철마 ( 铁马 , Cheolma )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Village Gods > Sacred Entity

Writer LeeSena(李세나)

Cheolma is a metal horse enshrined and worshipped as a deity in village shrines.

Also called soemal or soemul, metal horses as objects of worship are observed around the country. They are simplified renditions of a horse’s image, between five to ten centimeters long, their legs quite short in proportion to the large torso, some legs missing or cut off at the knee. Metal horses are the most common, but clay or stone horses are also observed. These figurines are associated with a range of divinities, which vary by region and ritual, including the main village god, or an animal god ridden by one of the village gods. In some cases they serve as sacrifices offered to a village god.

Cheolma were also worshipped as village guardian gods that protected the community against attacks from tigers, and in villages with cauldron makers or earthenware potters, metal horses were offered as sacrifice and enshrined for successful business for the craftsmen.