Chilmeoridang Exorcism of Jeju Island(济州祈幕里堂巫祭)

Headword

제주칠머리당굿 ( 济州祈幕里堂巫祭 , Jeju Chilmeori Danggut )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Spring > 2nd Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer MoonMoobyung(文武秉)

The exorcism rite Jeju Chilmeori Danggut, originating on Jeju Island, is held every year on the first and fourteenth days of the second lunar month, at a shrine named Chilmeori, located in Geonip-dong, Jeju. Chilmeoridang (Kor. 칠머리당) is a community shrine where the village’s guardian deity is worshipped. Such shrines are found in every village of Jeju island and are commonly known as bonhyangdang (Kor. 본향당), but this particular shrine derives its name from the name of the village where it is located, Chilmeo-ri. The word danggut (Kor. 당굿), which is part of the name of the exorcism, refers to a kind of community ritual presided over by a shaman. Chilmeori danggut was designated an Important Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 71 on November 17, 1980. The Society for the Preservation of Chilmeori Danggut of Jejudo, a local organization which observes the continuation of the tradition, was officially awarded accreditation as an ‘organization for the preservation of important intangible cultural property’ in November 1986.

The shrine houses the spirits of two gods who are spouses. Dowonsu Gamchal Jibanggwan (Kor. 도원수감찰지방관, Chin. 都元帥監察地方官, lit. Provincial Governor, Inspector and Administrator), the husband, is a god of land administration. He is in charge of guarding the village’s land and managing its resident’s production activities, civil registries and other daily aspects of the community’s life. His wife, Yongwang Haesin Buin (Kor. 용왕해신부인, Chin. 龍王海神夫人, lit. Spouse of Dragon King, the God of the Sea), looks after the fishermen and women divers and protects the natives of the village who live elsewhere or travel to other areas. Although these two gods are the main spirits of the shrine, only a small portion of the exorcism rite, which have been held there twice a year since early times, is dedicated to them. The bigger part of the ceremony is held for the Yeongdeung god (Kor. 영등, wind god) on the first day of the second lunar month. According to folk belief, Yeoungdeung arrives on earth on the first of the second lunar month and ascends back to heaven on the fourteenth of the same month. This god is believed to guard fishermen and women divers from the dangers of the sea and to ensure abundant livelihood by assisting with production activities. Therefore, most participants at the rituals pray for maritime safety and plentiful catches. The principal reason why the main deities of the shrine are not the highlight of the ritual is that the area is primarily a fishing community and the safety of fishermen and women divers at sea has been its predominant concern.

Chilmeoridang Exorcism of Jeju Island

Chilmeoridang Exorcism of Jeju Island
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Spring > 2nd Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer MoonMoobyung(文武秉)

The exorcism rite Jeju Chilmeori Danggut, originating on Jeju Island, is held every year on the first and fourteenth days of the second lunar month, at a shrine named Chilmeori, located in Geonip-dong, Jeju. Chilmeoridang (Kor. 칠머리당) is a community shrine where the village’s guardian deity is worshipped. Such shrines are found in every village of Jeju island and are commonly known as bonhyangdang (Kor. 본향당), but this particular shrine derives its name from the name of the village where it is located, Chilmeo-ri. The word danggut (Kor. 당굿), which is part of the name of the exorcism, refers to a kind of community ritual presided over by a shaman. Chilmeori danggut was designated an Important Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 71 on November 17, 1980. The Society for the Preservation of Chilmeori Danggut of Jejudo, a local organization which observes the continuation of the tradition, was officially awarded accreditation as an ‘organization for the preservation of important intangible cultural property’ in November 1986.

The shrine houses the spirits of two gods who are spouses. Dowonsu Gamchal Jibanggwan (Kor. 도원수감찰지방관, Chin. 都元帥監察地方官, lit. Provincial Governor, Inspector and Administrator), the husband, is a god of land administration. He is in charge of guarding the village’s land and managing its resident’s production activities, civil registries and other daily aspects of the community’s life. His wife, Yongwang Haesin Buin (Kor. 용왕해신부인, Chin. 龍王海神夫人, lit. Spouse of Dragon King, the God of the Sea), looks after the fishermen and women divers and protects the natives of the village who live elsewhere or travel to other areas. Although these two gods are the main spirits of the shrine, only a small portion of the exorcism rite, which have been held there twice a year since early times, is dedicated to them. The bigger part of the ceremony is held for the Yeongdeung god (Kor. 영등, wind god) on the first day of the second lunar month. According to folk belief, Yeoungdeung arrives on earth on the first of the second lunar month and ascends back to heaven on the fourteenth of the same month. This god is believed to guard fishermen and women divers from the dangers of the sea and to ensure abundant livelihood by assisting with production activities. Therefore, most participants at the rituals pray for maritime safety and plentiful catches. The principal reason why the main deities of the shrine are not the highlight of the ritual is that the area is primarily a fishing community and the safety of fishermen and women divers at sea has been its predominant concern.