Origin of God of Destiny Samgong(三公本解)

Origin of God of Destiny Samgong

Headword

삼공본풀이 ( 三公本解 , Samgongbonpuri )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer KimDaesook(金大琡)

The shamanic myth“Samgongbonpuri ”narrates the origins of the god of destiny (jeonsangsin) and is recited as part of keungut (grand ritual) on Jeju Island.

Once upon a time, there lived a male beggar in the upper village and a female beggar in the lower village. The two met on the street and lived together, earning a living as hired hands and giving birth to three daughters: When the first daughter was born a villager brought them steamed rice in a silver bowl, so the girl was named Eunjangagi (Silver Bowl Baby); when the second was born, she was brought rice in a brass bowl, so was named Notjangagi (Brass Bowl Baby); and when the third was born, she was brought rice in a wooden bowl, so was named Gameunjangagi (Dark Bowl Baby). After Gameunjang was born, the family’s fortunes began to accumulate and soon they became very rich. Now living in luxury, the couple called in their daughters one by one on a day of drizzling rain and asked to whom they owned this this good fortune. The first and second daughters answered that it was owed to Haneulnim (Heavenly God) and Jienim (Earthy God) and also to their parents, which pleased the parents. The youngest daughter, however, answered that it was thanks not only to Haneulnim, Jienim, and her parents, but also to the vertical line that runs down the middle of the abdomen. Upset at this answer, the couple kicked out Gameunjang from their home, and the youngest daughter left home, carrying some food and clothes on a black cow, with a maidservant in tow. Her parents felt bad about kicking out their youngest daughter and ordered their two daughters to go tell the youngest to come and have some cold rice with water before setting out. The two daughters were jealous, however, and lied to Gameunjang that her mother and father were coming to beat her to death, at which the youngest daughter cast a spell and turned her sisters each into a blue centipede and horse dung mushroom (petticoat mottlegill). Their parents were walking out of the house, wondering what was going on, when they tripped on the doorsill and lost their sight, and from that day one they could only sit at home and consume their fortune, in the end turning to begging, wandering all around with the help of a cane.

Gameunjang, in the meantime, wandered around after leaving home, and coming upon a cottage where an old granny lived asked if she could spend the night. Using a pot she borrowed from the granny, Gameunjang steamed some rice that she brought and offered it to the granny’s family, named Matungi (Yam Diggers), who ate only boiled yam. They refused to eat the steamed rice, saying the food came from a beggar of unknown ancestry, but when the third Matungi gobbled it down, the others followed. Gameunjang got married to the third Matungi, and one day, she went out to the yam field with her husband to find that all the pebbles that they had thrown out into a hole were nuggets of gold and silver. They suddenly became rich, transporting the gold and silver nuggets on the black cow to acquire land and cattle, and also took them to the market to be sold. Gameunjang, in the meantime, knew that since she had left home, her parents had turned into blind beggars. So she hosted a feast for beggars for three months and ten days, and when her parents came by towards the end, she set up a separate table for them and asked them to tell her the story of their past. Her parents recite the story of their life, how they had met as beggars, then became rich after giving birth to three daughters. When Gameunjang, after listening in tears, confessed that she was their youngest daughter, her parents open their eyes in shock. Gameunjang told them that she was the God of Destiny, explaining how destiny worked. And Gameunjang lived with her parents in prosperity.

The shamanic myths of Chogong, Igong and Samgong, recited as part of Jeju Island’s grand ritual, are organically connected and the story of Gameunjangagi revolves around what comes between life and death—in other words, about wealth and poverty, good fortunes and bad. The motifs found in this myth, of the third daughter, of fortune, yam digger, gold, beggar feast, and blindness, also appear in many other folk narratives.

“Song of God of Destiny Samgong”and other similar tales of acquiring fortune (balbokseolhwa) share a plot structure that starts with a woman leaving home after a conflict with the father about financial hegemony, then meets a man of a lower cultural rank and acquires great wealth with gold. These tales end before the heroine has children, for the main plot revolves around acquiring wealth.

Origin of God of Destiny Samgong

Origin of God of Destiny Samgong
Headword

삼공본풀이 ( 三公本解 , Samgongbonpuri )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer KimDaesook(金大琡)

The shamanic myth“Samgongbonpuri ”narrates the origins of the god of destiny (jeonsangsin) and is recited as part of keungut (grand ritual) on Jeju Island.

Once upon a time, there lived a male beggar in the upper village and a female beggar in the lower village. The two met on the street and lived together, earning a living as hired hands and giving birth to three daughters: When the first daughter was born a villager brought them steamed rice in a silver bowl, so the girl was named Eunjangagi (Silver Bowl Baby); when the second was born, she was brought rice in a brass bowl, so was named Notjangagi (Brass Bowl Baby); and when the third was born, she was brought rice in a wooden bowl, so was named Gameunjangagi (Dark Bowl Baby). After Gameunjang was born, the family’s fortunes began to accumulate and soon they became very rich. Now living in luxury, the couple called in their daughters one by one on a day of drizzling rain and asked to whom they owned this this good fortune. The first and second daughters answered that it was owed to Haneulnim (Heavenly God) and Jienim (Earthy God) and also to their parents, which pleased the parents. The youngest daughter, however, answered that it was thanks not only to Haneulnim, Jienim, and her parents, but also to the vertical line that runs down the middle of the abdomen. Upset at this answer, the couple kicked out Gameunjang from their home, and the youngest daughter left home, carrying some food and clothes on a black cow, with a maidservant in tow. Her parents felt bad about kicking out their youngest daughter and ordered their two daughters to go tell the youngest to come and have some cold rice with water before setting out. The two daughters were jealous, however, and lied to Gameunjang that her mother and father were coming to beat her to death, at which the youngest daughter cast a spell and turned her sisters each into a blue centipede and horse dung mushroom (petticoat mottlegill). Their parents were walking out of the house, wondering what was going on, when they tripped on the doorsill and lost their sight, and from that day one they could only sit at home and consume their fortune, in the end turning to begging, wandering all around with the help of a cane.

Gameunjang, in the meantime, wandered around after leaving home, and coming upon a cottage where an old granny lived asked if she could spend the night. Using a pot she borrowed from the granny, Gameunjang steamed some rice that she brought and offered it to the granny’s family, named Matungi (Yam Diggers), who ate only boiled yam. They refused to eat the steamed rice, saying the food came from a beggar of unknown ancestry, but when the third Matungi gobbled it down, the others followed. Gameunjang got married to the third Matungi, and one day, she went out to the yam field with her husband to find that all the pebbles that they had thrown out into a hole were nuggets of gold and silver. They suddenly became rich, transporting the gold and silver nuggets on the black cow to acquire land and cattle, and also took them to the market to be sold. Gameunjang, in the meantime, knew that since she had left home, her parents had turned into blind beggars. So she hosted a feast for beggars for three months and ten days, and when her parents came by towards the end, she set up a separate table for them and asked them to tell her the story of their past. Her parents recite the story of their life, how they had met as beggars, then became rich after giving birth to three daughters. When Gameunjang, after listening in tears, confessed that she was their youngest daughter, her parents open their eyes in shock. Gameunjang told them that she was the God of Destiny, explaining how destiny worked. And Gameunjang lived with her parents in prosperity.

The shamanic myths of Chogong, Igong and Samgong, recited as part of Jeju Island’s grand ritual, are organically connected and the story of Gameunjangagi revolves around what comes between life and death—in other words, about wealth and poverty, good fortunes and bad. The motifs found in this myth, of the third daughter, of fortune, yam digger, gold, beggar feast, and blindness, also appear in many other folk narratives.

“Song of God of Destiny Samgong”and other similar tales of acquiring fortune (balbokseolhwa) share a plot structure that starts with a woman leaving home after a conflict with the father about financial hegemony, then meets a man of a lower cultural rank and acquires great wealth with gold. These tales end before the heroine has children, for the main plot revolves around acquiring wealth.