Song of Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong(陶郎书生青璟新娘之歌)

Song of Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong

Headword

도랑선비청정각시노래 ( 陶郎书生青璟新娘之歌 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer KimHeonsun(金憲宣)

The shamanic myth“ Dorangseonbicheongjeonggaksinorae” tells the story of Cheongjeonggaksi (Bride Cheongjeong) and the sacrifice she makes in order to reunite with her groom, who died on the night of their wedding. The myth is recited during mangmukgut, a ritual for appeasing the dead observed in Hamgyeong Province, where Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong are worshipped as deities that oversee the human soul.

Bride Cheongjeong’s father was Hwadeokjunggunhwangcheolsa and her mother Lady Guto. It was arranged that she would be married off to an aristocratic family and the groom’s name was Dorangseonbi. When the groom arrives at the bride’s house for the wedding, he feels as if something were grabbing the back of his head and he falls ill, losing consciousness. The bride calls a senior shaman to host a ritual, after which the shaman says the groom’s illness is due to impurities in the groom’s wedding gift of three-colored silks. When the silk fabric is burned, the groom regains partial consciousness, but his illness shows no signs of recovery and in the middle of the night, the groom sets out to return home, leaving word to his bride that if the following morning, on the hour of osi (13th of the 24th periods of the day), a man with short hair arrives from the other side of the mountain pass, it will mean that he is dead.

From then until the hour of sasi (11th of the 24th period), the bride offers devoted prayers to the Heavenly Lord Hanul and to Buddha, along with a bowl of jeonghwasu (fresh water from the well), asking for her groom’s survival. But that night, on the hour of haesi (23rd of the 24th period), a shorthaired man indeed comes and delivers news of the groom’s passing. The bride lets down her hair and heads to her in-laws, where she sustains herself on water and weeps for three days. Even after the groom is buried, the bride continues to weep and the mournful sound of her keening reaches the ears of Okhwangsangje (Great Emperor of Jade), who orders the Saint of Hwanggeumsan (Golden Mountain) to look into the matter. The saint comes to Bride Cheongjeong and begs for money, and the bride responds that she will give him all the money he asks for if only she could meet her groom just once. Moved by her devotion, the saint gives the bride a hollowed-out whole gourd and tells her to fetch fresh water from the well and go pray at the groom’s grave for three days, on her bedding spread out in front of the grave, dressed in her wedding gown. After three days of devoted praying, the groom appears before her, but when the bride tries to hold his wrist, he disappears. The bride calls out in a loud voice to the divine monk, praying that she see her husband again. At this, the Saint of Golden Mountain instructs her to pull out strands of her hair and tie them into rope with three thousand knots, then take the rope to the Geumsang Temple on Mt. Annae, tie one end on the prayer hall of the temple, the other in mid-air, and tells the bride that after making a hole in each of her palms, if she can manage to withhold her screams even when three thousand little girls pull up and down with all their might, she will be able to meet her husband. The bride does as instructed by the divine monk and finally her husband appears, but when she tries to hold him, he disappears again. The bride weeps in sorrow and the divine monk appears again to give her new instructions, to squeeze oil from five mal of sesame, perilla seeds, and castor beans, and rub the oil on her hands until all the oil is gone, then pray at the temple after lighting her ten fingers. The bride does as instructed and prays at the temple with her ten fingers aflame, at which Yeomnadaewang (Great King Yeomna) of the underworld commands Groom Dorang to go and put out the fire at Geumsag Temple, and the groom appears at the temple from behind the Buddha, but as the bride again tries to hold him, he once again disappears. When the bride appeals again, the divine monk instructs that if she successfully builds a pass on Mt. Annae to Geumsang Temple without using any tools, she will be able to meet her husband. The bride works with her half-burned fingers to make a path, weeding and sorting out rocks and evening the soil, but faints upon reaching the peak of the mountain. After a long time, she regains consciousness and resumes work on the path, when she encounters a boy in a straw hat heading up from the other side of the mountain, working on making a path, and the boy turns out to the husband that she has so longed to meet. Determined to never part again, she pretends not to see him until he comes close and she holds him tight, not letting go this time. The groom recognized his bride and tells her, “Your devotion has moved the heavens and the Great King Yeomna has ordered me to build this pass, and when it is completed, I shall be born again into the human world. Now that the pass is completed, we can begin our life together.”

On their way back home, Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong come across a bridge. The bride is the first to cross, after which the groom follows but a sudden gust wraps around him, pushing him off the bridge and into the water below. The groom calls ups to the bride, “To be with me, you have to return home and take a strip of silk cloth, three ja and three chi in length, and tie one end on the needle juniper tree planted by my great-great-great grandfather, and tie the other end to your neck to end your life. It is only in death, in the underworld, that we shall be together. Such fate has befallen me as a punishment for my grandfather’s crimes of material greed and murder.”

Realizing that this is how she should die, Bride Cheongjeong does as her groom instructed and kills herself. The Great Emperor of Jade orders the Buddha of Geumsang Temple to write a letter instructing that Bride Cheongjeong is the most devoted human under the heavens and that she should be sent to the best place there is. In the underworld, the bride reunites with her husband and enjoys immeasurable happiness, then is reborn into the human world, where she is deified.

The literary theme of this shamanic myth seems to be focused on spousal love, Bride Cheongjeong’s deep devotion moving even the heavens, and a marriage formed in the human world continuing for hundreds and thousands of years, resulting in the worship of ancestral gods or progenitor gods. From a religious or cultural perspective, the focus seems to be on the deep devotion of the human heart, even though the purpose may vary. The motifs of pathbuilding, or of tying one’s hands to a stake with rope, originate from Buddhist narratives, symbolic acts that signify the pain that must be endured and the devotion that must be offered by Buddhist followers in order to reach the Western Pure Land. The reflection of these Buddhist elements in a shamanic myth shows that human devotion was deemed just as important in shamanic prayers. On terms literary, religious, or cultural, Koreans believed that human devotion could result in great spiritual powers, which allowed even the weakest or lowliest beings to endure great pain, and reach the Western Pure Land, travel back and forth between this world and the underworld, and reunite with the dead. The Song of Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong is a vivid rendering of the deep universal characteristics of Korean emotions.

Song of Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong

Song of Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong
Headword

도랑선비청정각시노래 ( 陶郎书生青璟新娘之歌 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer KimHeonsun(金憲宣)

The shamanic myth“ Dorangseonbicheongjeonggaksinorae” tells the story of Cheongjeonggaksi (Bride Cheongjeong) and the sacrifice she makes in order to reunite with her groom, who died on the night of their wedding. The myth is recited during mangmukgut, a ritual for appeasing the dead observed in Hamgyeong Province, where Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong are worshipped as deities that oversee the human soul.

Bride Cheongjeong’s father was Hwadeokjunggunhwangcheolsa and her mother Lady Guto. It was arranged that she would be married off to an aristocratic family and the groom’s name was Dorangseonbi. When the groom arrives at the bride’s house for the wedding, he feels as if something were grabbing the back of his head and he falls ill, losing consciousness. The bride calls a senior shaman to host a ritual, after which the shaman says the groom’s illness is due to impurities in the groom’s wedding gift of three-colored silks. When the silk fabric is burned, the groom regains partial consciousness, but his illness shows no signs of recovery and in the middle of the night, the groom sets out to return home, leaving word to his bride that if the following morning, on the hour of osi (13th of the 24th periods of the day), a man with short hair arrives from the other side of the mountain pass, it will mean that he is dead.

From then until the hour of sasi (11th of the 24th period), the bride offers devoted prayers to the Heavenly Lord Hanul and to Buddha, along with a bowl of jeonghwasu (fresh water from the well), asking for her groom’s survival. But that night, on the hour of haesi (23rd of the 24th period), a shorthaired man indeed comes and delivers news of the groom’s passing. The bride lets down her hair and heads to her in-laws, where she sustains herself on water and weeps for three days. Even after the groom is buried, the bride continues to weep and the mournful sound of her keening reaches the ears of Okhwangsangje (Great Emperor of Jade), who orders the Saint of Hwanggeumsan (Golden Mountain) to look into the matter. The saint comes to Bride Cheongjeong and begs for money, and the bride responds that she will give him all the money he asks for if only she could meet her groom just once. Moved by her devotion, the saint gives the bride a hollowed-out whole gourd and tells her to fetch fresh water from the well and go pray at the groom’s grave for three days, on her bedding spread out in front of the grave, dressed in her wedding gown. After three days of devoted praying, the groom appears before her, but when the bride tries to hold his wrist, he disappears. The bride calls out in a loud voice to the divine monk, praying that she see her husband again. At this, the Saint of Golden Mountain instructs her to pull out strands of her hair and tie them into rope with three thousand knots, then take the rope to the Geumsang Temple on Mt. Annae, tie one end on the prayer hall of the temple, the other in mid-air, and tells the bride that after making a hole in each of her palms, if she can manage to withhold her screams even when three thousand little girls pull up and down with all their might, she will be able to meet her husband. The bride does as instructed by the divine monk and finally her husband appears, but when she tries to hold him, he disappears again. The bride weeps in sorrow and the divine monk appears again to give her new instructions, to squeeze oil from five mal of sesame, perilla seeds, and castor beans, and rub the oil on her hands until all the oil is gone, then pray at the temple after lighting her ten fingers. The bride does as instructed and prays at the temple with her ten fingers aflame, at which Yeomnadaewang (Great King Yeomna) of the underworld commands Groom Dorang to go and put out the fire at Geumsag Temple, and the groom appears at the temple from behind the Buddha, but as the bride again tries to hold him, he once again disappears. When the bride appeals again, the divine monk instructs that if she successfully builds a pass on Mt. Annae to Geumsang Temple without using any tools, she will be able to meet her husband. The bride works with her half-burned fingers to make a path, weeding and sorting out rocks and evening the soil, but faints upon reaching the peak of the mountain. After a long time, she regains consciousness and resumes work on the path, when she encounters a boy in a straw hat heading up from the other side of the mountain, working on making a path, and the boy turns out to the husband that she has so longed to meet. Determined to never part again, she pretends not to see him until he comes close and she holds him tight, not letting go this time. The groom recognized his bride and tells her, “Your devotion has moved the heavens and the Great King Yeomna has ordered me to build this pass, and when it is completed, I shall be born again into the human world. Now that the pass is completed, we can begin our life together.”

On their way back home, Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong come across a bridge. The bride is the first to cross, after which the groom follows but a sudden gust wraps around him, pushing him off the bridge and into the water below. The groom calls ups to the bride, “To be with me, you have to return home and take a strip of silk cloth, three ja and three chi in length, and tie one end on the needle juniper tree planted by my great-great-great grandfather, and tie the other end to your neck to end your life. It is only in death, in the underworld, that we shall be together. Such fate has befallen me as a punishment for my grandfather’s crimes of material greed and murder.”

Realizing that this is how she should die, Bride Cheongjeong does as her groom instructed and kills herself. The Great Emperor of Jade orders the Buddha of Geumsang Temple to write a letter instructing that Bride Cheongjeong is the most devoted human under the heavens and that she should be sent to the best place there is. In the underworld, the bride reunites with her husband and enjoys immeasurable happiness, then is reborn into the human world, where she is deified.

The literary theme of this shamanic myth seems to be focused on spousal love, Bride Cheongjeong’s deep devotion moving even the heavens, and a marriage formed in the human world continuing for hundreds and thousands of years, resulting in the worship of ancestral gods or progenitor gods. From a religious or cultural perspective, the focus seems to be on the deep devotion of the human heart, even though the purpose may vary. The motifs of pathbuilding, or of tying one’s hands to a stake with rope, originate from Buddhist narratives, symbolic acts that signify the pain that must be endured and the devotion that must be offered by Buddhist followers in order to reach the Western Pure Land. The reflection of these Buddhist elements in a shamanic myth shows that human devotion was deemed just as important in shamanic prayers. On terms literary, religious, or cultural, Koreans believed that human devotion could result in great spiritual powers, which allowed even the weakest or lowliest beings to endure great pain, and reach the Western Pure Land, travel back and forth between this world and the underworld, and reunite with the dead. The Song of Groom Dorang and Bride Cheongjeong is a vivid rendering of the deep universal characteristics of Korean emotions.