Origin of Gwenwegit Shrine(圭内齐堂本解)

Origin of Gwenwegit Shrine

Headword

궤눼깃당본풀이 ( 圭内齐堂本解 , Gwenewgitdangbonpur )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer KimHeonsun(金憲宣)

The shamanic myth“ Gwenewgitdangbonpuri” narrates the origins of a village god on Jeju Island, a genre categorized as dangsinbonpuri. The narrative revolves around Socheonguk, a man of immense appetite who could swallow whole cows and pigs; his wife Baekjutto; and their sixth son Gwenwegitto. Alternate titles include Halloyeongsan Gwenwegitdangbonpuri (Song of the Origin of Gwenwegit Shrine on Mt.Halloyeong); and Songdangbonpuri (Song of the Origin of Songdang, Progenitor of Jeju Village Gods)

Socheonguk is born into the world at Gobuni Peak in the village of Hasongdang (Lower Pine Shrine). Upon hearing of his birth, Baekjutto, born on the white sandy shore of the heavenly kingdom Gangnamcheonjaguk, sets out to find him, believing that he was destined by the heavens to be her husband, and they marry, giving birth to five sons. When she becomes pregnant with their sixth son, Baekjutto recommends that Socheonguk takes up farming, and he takes nine seom of rice seeds and nine seom of millet seeds and a plow, and starts plowing the field with his ox. Baekjutto brings to the field nine jars of soup and nine jars of steamed rice, but Socheonguk says that he will eat after plowing some more, and Baekjutto heads back, leaving the food by the field. As Socheonguk keeps on plowing, a monk from Taesan Temple comes by and pleads that he is starving. Socheonguk offers him his food, thinking the monk cannot possibly eat up all the food, but the monk gobbles it down until everything is gone and runs away. Unable to bear his hunger, Socheonguk butchers his ox and grills it, but he still is not full after eating the whole ox, and goes on to devour someone else’s black cow. Finally full, he places the heads and hides of the two cows by his side and plows the field with his belly. Baekjutto comes back to hear about what has happened, and calling her husband a cow thief, demands that they split up their household, and steps up above the winds.

Socheonguk steps down below the winds and takes the daughter of Jeongdonggalche as his concubine, returning to his former living of hunting with a gun. Baekjutto, in the meantime, gives birth to their sixth son Gwenwegitto, and when he turns three, carries him on her back to see Socheonguk. As she puts down the child in front of his father, the child pulls at his father’s beard and shoves his chest. Socheonguk, denouncing that the child was still behaving badly after separating his parents when he was still in his mother’s belly, locks up the child in a steel chest and throws it into the East Sea. The chest enters the Dragon Kingdom, where it gets caught in coral branches, stirring up a whirl of clouds and gusts of strong wind. At this, the king of the Dragon Kingdom calls his three daughters to look outside and it is only his youngest daughter who sees the steel chest. When the chest is brought in, once again it is only his youngest daughter who can open it. Finding a young man, fine as jade, sitting inside the chest filled with books, the king asks which kingdom he is from and why he is here. The young man answers that he is from Joseon’s southern kingdom of Jeju, and that he was on his way to suppress a rebellion in Gangnamcheonjaguk but was washed up by a storm to the Dragon Kingdom. Thinking that this young man was a renowned commander, the king invites him into the chambers of his first daughter, then of his second, but the young man does not respond, and only when he is invited into the youngest daughter’s room does he finally enter it.

One day the youngest daughter brings to him an abundant tray of food, but the young man does not even look up, and when asked why, he answers that he may be from a small kingdom but he eats only whole pigs and cows. At this, the king treats his son-in-law to whole pigs and cows every day, which quickly exhausts the food supply in his kingdom, and fearing that his kingdom is headed toward a collapse, he locks up the son-in-law in the steel chest with his daughter and sends up the chest to the water’s surface. When the chest reaches the white sandy shore of Gangnamcheonjaguk, once again a whirl of clouds stirs up, along with gusts of wind. By night, torches light up the land and by day the sound of reading aloud shakes up the celestial world, causing a commotion in the heavenly kingdom of Gangnamcheonjaguk. After hearing rumors, Cheonja the heavenly ruler orders his subjects to find out what is going on, and learning that the events have been caused by a steel chest on the shore, he brings the chest to his palace, where he opens it to find a woman and a young man fine as jade sitting inside. When Cheonja asks which kingdom they are from and what has brought them here, the young man answers that he is from Jeju Island, a southern state of Joseon, and that he has come to defeat the barbarians from the north and bring peace to the world. At this, Cheonja takes the young man by the hand and invites him into his palace, where the young man is given a steel helmet and armor, swords and arrows, along with millions of troops, and sent out to the battlefield. At his first battle, the young man kills a two-headed general; at the second a three-headed general; at the third a four-headed general, which leaves no generals to fight against, thereby resulting in peace in the world. Cheonja lauds the young man as a martial hero like no other in the world, and offers him a part of his land and his seas, which will allow the young man to live on taxes. The young man, however, declares that he will return to his homeland and heads back to Jeju Island of Joseon Kingdom, accompanied by millions of troops on a newly constructed warship, piled with coral and food.

As the ship approached Jeju Island, the young man fires canons, creating a noise loud enough to shake the world, and his father Socheonguk and mother Baekjutto ask the maidservant where the noise is coming from, to which she answers that their sixth son, sent off to die in a steel chest at age three has returned to overthrow his father. At this, the father runs off in fear to Gobuni Peak in Hasongdang Village, where he dies and is enshrined; and the mother runs off in fear, her hair let down long and loose, and dies at Dangoreum (Volcanic Cone Shrine), where she is enshrined. Their sixth son, recalling that his father had been a good hunter who enjoyed meat, gathered the top hunters from each village to hunt a hoard of wild beasts to offer as sacrifice for a ritual in his worship. The sixth son sends back the troops to their homeland and climbs up Mt. Halla, where he seeks out an auspicious“lair (hyeol)”of mountain and water energy as a location for his enshrining, then upon descending, announces that he has been bestowed the holy shrine of Gimnyeong Village by command of Okhwang (Jade Emperor) and has come to bring to all the people the power of managing the wind and rain. When the people ask where he is to be enshrined, he answers that it shall be at the Lower Gwenwegit Shrine; when they ask what he would like to eat, he answers that he shall eat whole cows and pigs, at which the people respond that they were too poor to offer him cows and that they shall butcher a pig to worship him. And so it was that Socheonguk’s sixth son was enshrined at Lower Gwenwegit Shrine, where people held rituals to worship him, offering the sacrifice of whole pigs.

This shamanic myth shares with“ Samseong-sinhwa (Myth of Three Surnames) ”a family progenitor myth and the founding myth of Tamna, the only known ancient kingdom that was founded on Jeju Island, several similarities: marriage between an indigenous male deity and a female deity from the outside world; the husband taking up farming at the recommendation of the wife; the female deity bringing with her five grain seeds, along with calves and ponies, and starting a life in farming. In this narrative, the protagonist Gwenwegit’s life follows an arc of birth, abandonment, rescue, marriage, martial achievements, return and enshrinement, which make up the archetypal structure of a hero biography.

Origin of Gwenwegit Shrine

Origin of Gwenwegit Shrine
Headword

궤눼깃당본풀이 ( 圭内齐堂本解 , Gwenewgitdangbonpur )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer KimHeonsun(金憲宣)

The shamanic myth“ Gwenewgitdangbonpuri” narrates the origins of a village god on Jeju Island, a genre categorized as dangsinbonpuri. The narrative revolves around Socheonguk, a man of immense appetite who could swallow whole cows and pigs; his wife Baekjutto; and their sixth son Gwenwegitto. Alternate titles include Halloyeongsan Gwenwegitdangbonpuri (Song of the Origin of Gwenwegit Shrine on Mt.Halloyeong); and Songdangbonpuri (Song of the Origin of Songdang, Progenitor of Jeju Village Gods)

Socheonguk is born into the world at Gobuni Peak in the village of Hasongdang (Lower Pine Shrine). Upon hearing of his birth, Baekjutto, born on the white sandy shore of the heavenly kingdom Gangnamcheonjaguk, sets out to find him, believing that he was destined by the heavens to be her husband, and they marry, giving birth to five sons. When she becomes pregnant with their sixth son, Baekjutto recommends that Socheonguk takes up farming, and he takes nine seom of rice seeds and nine seom of millet seeds and a plow, and starts plowing the field with his ox. Baekjutto brings to the field nine jars of soup and nine jars of steamed rice, but Socheonguk says that he will eat after plowing some more, and Baekjutto heads back, leaving the food by the field. As Socheonguk keeps on plowing, a monk from Taesan Temple comes by and pleads that he is starving. Socheonguk offers him his food, thinking the monk cannot possibly eat up all the food, but the monk gobbles it down until everything is gone and runs away. Unable to bear his hunger, Socheonguk butchers his ox and grills it, but he still is not full after eating the whole ox, and goes on to devour someone else’s black cow. Finally full, he places the heads and hides of the two cows by his side and plows the field with his belly. Baekjutto comes back to hear about what has happened, and calling her husband a cow thief, demands that they split up their household, and steps up above the winds.

Socheonguk steps down below the winds and takes the daughter of Jeongdonggalche as his concubine, returning to his former living of hunting with a gun. Baekjutto, in the meantime, gives birth to their sixth son Gwenwegitto, and when he turns three, carries him on her back to see Socheonguk. As she puts down the child in front of his father, the child pulls at his father’s beard and shoves his chest. Socheonguk, denouncing that the child was still behaving badly after separating his parents when he was still in his mother’s belly, locks up the child in a steel chest and throws it into the East Sea. The chest enters the Dragon Kingdom, where it gets caught in coral branches, stirring up a whirl of clouds and gusts of strong wind. At this, the king of the Dragon Kingdom calls his three daughters to look outside and it is only his youngest daughter who sees the steel chest. When the chest is brought in, once again it is only his youngest daughter who can open it. Finding a young man, fine as jade, sitting inside the chest filled with books, the king asks which kingdom he is from and why he is here. The young man answers that he is from Joseon’s southern kingdom of Jeju, and that he was on his way to suppress a rebellion in Gangnamcheonjaguk but was washed up by a storm to the Dragon Kingdom. Thinking that this young man was a renowned commander, the king invites him into the chambers of his first daughter, then of his second, but the young man does not respond, and only when he is invited into the youngest daughter’s room does he finally enter it.

One day the youngest daughter brings to him an abundant tray of food, but the young man does not even look up, and when asked why, he answers that he may be from a small kingdom but he eats only whole pigs and cows. At this, the king treats his son-in-law to whole pigs and cows every day, which quickly exhausts the food supply in his kingdom, and fearing that his kingdom is headed toward a collapse, he locks up the son-in-law in the steel chest with his daughter and sends up the chest to the water’s surface. When the chest reaches the white sandy shore of Gangnamcheonjaguk, once again a whirl of clouds stirs up, along with gusts of wind. By night, torches light up the land and by day the sound of reading aloud shakes up the celestial world, causing a commotion in the heavenly kingdom of Gangnamcheonjaguk. After hearing rumors, Cheonja the heavenly ruler orders his subjects to find out what is going on, and learning that the events have been caused by a steel chest on the shore, he brings the chest to his palace, where he opens it to find a woman and a young man fine as jade sitting inside. When Cheonja asks which kingdom they are from and what has brought them here, the young man answers that he is from Jeju Island, a southern state of Joseon, and that he has come to defeat the barbarians from the north and bring peace to the world. At this, Cheonja takes the young man by the hand and invites him into his palace, where the young man is given a steel helmet and armor, swords and arrows, along with millions of troops, and sent out to the battlefield. At his first battle, the young man kills a two-headed general; at the second a three-headed general; at the third a four-headed general, which leaves no generals to fight against, thereby resulting in peace in the world. Cheonja lauds the young man as a martial hero like no other in the world, and offers him a part of his land and his seas, which will allow the young man to live on taxes. The young man, however, declares that he will return to his homeland and heads back to Jeju Island of Joseon Kingdom, accompanied by millions of troops on a newly constructed warship, piled with coral and food.

As the ship approached Jeju Island, the young man fires canons, creating a noise loud enough to shake the world, and his father Socheonguk and mother Baekjutto ask the maidservant where the noise is coming from, to which she answers that their sixth son, sent off to die in a steel chest at age three has returned to overthrow his father. At this, the father runs off in fear to Gobuni Peak in Hasongdang Village, where he dies and is enshrined; and the mother runs off in fear, her hair let down long and loose, and dies at Dangoreum (Volcanic Cone Shrine), where she is enshrined. Their sixth son, recalling that his father had been a good hunter who enjoyed meat, gathered the top hunters from each village to hunt a hoard of wild beasts to offer as sacrifice for a ritual in his worship. The sixth son sends back the troops to their homeland and climbs up Mt. Halla, where he seeks out an auspicious“lair (hyeol)”of mountain and water energy as a location for his enshrining, then upon descending, announces that he has been bestowed the holy shrine of Gimnyeong Village by command of Okhwang (Jade Emperor) and has come to bring to all the people the power of managing the wind and rain. When the people ask where he is to be enshrined, he answers that it shall be at the Lower Gwenwegit Shrine; when they ask what he would like to eat, he answers that he shall eat whole cows and pigs, at which the people respond that they were too poor to offer him cows and that they shall butcher a pig to worship him. And so it was that Socheonguk’s sixth son was enshrined at Lower Gwenwegit Shrine, where people held rituals to worship him, offering the sacrifice of whole pigs.

This shamanic myth shares with“ Samseong-sinhwa (Myth of Three Surnames) ”a family progenitor myth and the founding myth of Tamna, the only known ancient kingdom that was founded on Jeju Island, several similarities: marriage between an indigenous male deity and a female deity from the outside world; the husband taking up farming at the recommendation of the wife; the female deity bringing with her five grain seeds, along with calves and ponies, and starting a life in farming. In this narrative, the protagonist Gwenwegit’s life follows an arc of birth, abandonment, rescue, marriage, martial achievements, return and enshrinement, which make up the archetypal structure of a hero biography.