This clip is an extended interview taken from the upcoming documentary Spirits on the Island of Rocks, Wind and Women. The director, Giuseppe Rositano, spent two years collecting myths from the remaining practitioners of Jeju shamanism. The documentary focuses on the stories of six villages, the shamanistic shrines in each and the personal relationship between the shrine worshippers the shrine deities and the 'Bonpuli' myths associated with each shrine. Giuseppe lived on Jeju Island for seven years, often hearing talk of mysterious shamanistic worship. He soon realized that the traditional religious practices of the islanders were met with a considerable amount of prejudice and that the things he was hearing from younger people in the city about shamanism weren't at all accurate. What he found was a complicated and complete religious system which was being misrepresented by the younger generations who had moved away from shamanism. Of particular interest, were the hundreds of shrine myths and the twelve epic myths that the village shamans have memorized and passed down through scores of generations.
In this excerpt, the current 'Great shaman' of Wuljung village talks about how she became a traditional Jeju shaman, the future of Jeju shamanism and relates one of Wuljung village's shrine myths, the story of Soddang Grandmother Goddess and Grandfather God.
Language Note: The language of this extended interview, as in the full length documentary is Jeju dialect.
Correction Note: In the Soddang Grandmother myth the great shaman describes Soddang Grandmother as floating from village to village in the iron box in which she was abandoned to the sea. She actually disembarks at Gwakji village and walks eastward to Wuljung village. In this excerpt the archaic Jeju dialect word for 'hobble' or 'walk slowly or awkwardly' has been mistranslated. Usually the 'Bonpuli' shrine myths of Jeju Island are sung. The telling of a myth in normal speech can be a bit awkward for the teller.
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