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Painting of Shamanic Deity

Musindo is the painting of a deity worshipped by a shaman. Such paintings are also called muhwa (shamanic painting) or hwabun, and are hung in the personal shrines of possessed shamans (gangsinmu) or in village shrines. Musindo takes up great significance in shamanic practice and all possessed shamans enshrine paintings of deities that have descended upon them. They are generally individual paintings, painted in color on paper or silk. The oldest remaining musindo in Korea are the paintings in t

Korean Folk Beliefs

Possession Ritual

Naerimgut, literally meaning, “descent ritual, ” is a ritual for healing one who is possessed or afflicted with spirit sickness, and for initiating her into her calling as a shaman. Possession rituals in Korean shamanism are also called singut (spirit ritual), sinmyeonggut (ritual for heavenly spirit), myeongdugut (shamanic ritual) or gangsinje (ritual for spiritual descent). A possession ritual is preceded by a rite called heojugut, or heoteungut, a process of cleansing the possessed individual

Korean Folk Beliefs

Prickly Castor-Oil Tree

Eomnamu, or prickly castor-oil tree, particularly its thorny branches, are used in Korean folk religion to chase away evil spirits and illnesses. Kalopanax septemlobus, common name prickly castor-oil tree, is a deciduous tree in the family Araliaceae, which grows around Korea, Japan and China. Its branches are prickly with thorns, believed to scare away evil spirits and diseases, and are hung over gates or room doors in homes at Seol (Lunar New Year). Another related custom is to take malaria pa

Korean Folk Beliefs
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