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Death-Appeasing Underworld Entry Ritual

Ogugut is a shamanic ritual to pray for the rebirth of the dead in the heavens by appeasing the deceased and guiding its spirit to the underworld. Variations of the term include ogu, ogwi, ogwisaenamgut and keungut. The ritual is observed mostly in the south coast regions of Gyeongsang Province and along the east coast. Belonging to the same category of rituals for appeasing the spirit of the dead and praying for the well-being of the living, are jinogigut, the underworld entry ritual from the S

Korean Folk Beliefs

Collection of Humorous Tales of Leisure

Taepyeonghanhwagolgyejeon is a collection of droll tales written in Chinese characters, compiled by Seo Geo-jeong during the reign of King Seongjong in Joseon. Written in the 8th year of Seongjong’s rule and published in the 13th year, the collection was a four-volume set, according to Gang Hui-maeng’s introduction, but a full edition does not remain today. Currently there are five different editions remaining, all incomplete: a woodblock edition housed at Korea University’s Mansong Collection;

Korean Folk Literature

Origin of Gate God

“Munjeonbonpuri”is a shamanic myth from Jeju Island that tells the story of the origins of Munsin, or Gate God. The epic is recited as part of village rituals on Jeju and the title also refers to the ritual segment. Scholar Nam from Namseon Village and Lady Yeosan from Yeosan Village lived in poverty with their seven sons. One day Lady Yeosan proposes that her husband take up work in grain trade, and Nam leaves on a boat. Upon reaching Odong (Paulownia) Village of Odong Kingdom, Nam is lured int

Korean Folk Literature

Shamanic Song of Sim Cheong

The shamanic myth “Simcheonggumuga” is recited as part of the Simcheong ritual or the Blind Segment in byeolsingut, or the ritual for village tutelary spirit, held on the east coast regions of the Korean Peninsula. Blind Man Sim and his wife Lady Gwak, being childless, prays with devotion to mountains and rivers, and conceive a child, but soon after giving birth to their daughter Sim Cheong, the wise and virtuous Lady Gwak dies from complications and Cheong is left motherless only seven days aft

Korean Folk Literature

Myth of Seven Stars

“Chilseongpuri”is a shamanic myth transmitted in the Jeolla and Chungcheong provinces, which narrates the origins of Chilseong (Seven Stars), a folk deity that oversees the lifespan and safety of individuals. In shamanic rituals, the myth is recited as a means to pray for health and longevity of one’s children, peace in the family and prosperity. The following is a summary of the plot based on a version from North Jeolla Province, where the myth is transmitted mostly widely: Sir Chilseong from C

Korean Folk Literature

Ritual for Village Tutelary Spirit

Byeolsingut is a communal ritual held every three, five, or ten years to pray for peace and prosperity to the village tutelary spirit. Such rituals are also called pungeoje (big catch ritual) on the coastal regions and byeolsinje in inland regions. Byeolsingut from Hahoe village in North Gyeongsang Province, Eunsan in South Chungcheong, and Oti in North Chungcheong are the biggest among those held in inland regions, while rituals from the eastern and southern coasts are also widely recognized. H

Korean Folk Beliefs
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