Korean shaman Culture and traditions

Guide to South Korea for travelers

Korean shamans

Today I’d like to talk about evil spirits, or rather the people who are here in Korea has made communication with all sorts of otherworldly forces, the source of its existence.

I must say that they not only exist in Korea. And now in Russia, many turn to expensive services of sorcerers, witch doctors, specialists (if the word specialist is applicable here) on removing the damage. Poizyskannee to the public is in Russia the crowd of psychics, all sorts of the followers of Castaneda and Co.

However, not to digress, tonight is not about Russia, and Korea. By and large, be called superstitious Koreans did not. Here, perhaps, played a role three factors. First, Korea is now in General — a very educated country. Secondly, Korea — it’s a Christian country, and serious Christianity (forget about Russia) is incompatible with superstition. Thirdly, Korea — prosperous and stable country, but waves of interest into all hell is always accompanied by social crises. Nevertheless, some superstitions exist in Korea, which means that there are people who have made them their profession.

The role of Russian sorcerers and psychics in Korea for several millennia, the shamans perform. Shamanism for a long time was, along with Buddhism and Confucianism, one of the three principal religious systems of Korea. I must say that the word shamanism is not indicated any clear religious system, and the set of representations of evil and good spirits that can help the person help, and may actually cause him all sorts of mischief. The shaman, were believed to be able to gain favor of the spirits. The vast majority of shamans in Korea have been women, and this situation persists until now. Before the emergence in Korea of modern medicine shaman studied healing, cast out evil spirits from homes, performed ceremonies, which were to provide the crop or to prevent drought. Korean shamanic ritual (called Kut ) included dance, singing and ritual, all this was subordinate to rigid traditions, so Korean shaman couldn Kamlat absolutely at their discretion (although a certain proportion of personal acting, no doubt, in her present work).

Shamanic rituals have been preserved in our days. Interestingly, the attitude towards them among the Koreans themselves literally before my eyes has undergone a fundamental change. More recently, twenty years ago, the Koreans, especially the educated, were frankly ashamed of shamans. Shamanism was perceived as a kind of (let me use a word from the old Soviet jargon) is a relic. Recently, however, attitudes towards shamanism in Korea has changed dramatically. The reason, in my opinion, is simple: the Koreans have become much more confident in themselves and in their culture. For this they, admittedly, have reason. Why shamanism now increasingly seen as an integral element of traditional Korean heritage and some representatives of the local intelligentsia of the left (here, as in the West, almost all young intellectuals — left) even claim that he is, he says, is a reflection of the protest of the oppressed classes .

The most famous shamans authorities now assign the honorary title of people — a national treasure. in Korea, which awarded the best masters of traditional arts and crafts. Of course, the title is awarded not on the basis of how well one or the other shaman casts out evil spirits-it is dark and no one but the spirits themselves, really unknown. When you assign a title to account craftsmanship in the performance of traditional ritual songs and dances that have always been in Korea an important part of shamanic ritual. Appeared now pseudocamellia and theatrical ceremonies. From time to time a shaman can arrange the ritual and revealing that can see everyone.

However, these days, many Koreans can seek the assistance of shamans and ask them to cook seriously. It is curious that, as shown by the recent study of anthropologists, shamans often now invite small business owners who ask the spirits to provided patronage to their businesses, expelled evil spirits from the newly purchased truck or, say, affect the size of Bank interest rates. Often turn to shamans and parents, because luck when applying to University in Korea is an important condition for success. Parents hope that shaman will force the spirits to help their son in, say, math. By the way, the shaman’s services are expensive — usually one session of communication with the spirits is at least a few thousand dollars, and the lion’s share of that money goes in royalties to the shaman.

However, Korean shamanism, which had almost disappeared in the sixties, is now clearly on the rise. Business profitable.

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