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Korean Shamanism

By: Brett Powell Ray

or 巫 is the base for Shaman This refers to the indigenous religious beliefs of the Korean people . Muism or 무교 (mugyo) in Korean – Mu. 무.Etymology In English.

What’s a Shaman? • Shaman or 무당 (Mudang) serve as a medium who commune with the gods for humans. .

gut) which have many functions or purposes like: • • • • • Calling for good fortune Curing illnesses Exorcising spirits Appeasing patron gods Guiding spirits of the deceased to the world of the dead .What does a shaman do? • Mudang hold services (굿.

ghosts. • System of pantheistic gods is somewhat unorganized and general • The cosmology includes many (essentially infinite) gods. missionaries demonized Muism. Christianity is an exclusive religion which does not allow following other faiths. – When Christianity came to Korea. spirits. not exclusive like later religions – For example.Tradition • The tradition itself is very eclectic. demons. . etc.

yet the legacy and tradition of Muism has influenced Korean Buddhism and both traditions are said to have similarities in such matters as cosmology .Muism and Buddhism • Buddhism had large success in Korea and largely replaced indigenous religion.

Manchuria as long as on the Islands of Jeju and Ryukyu (Japan) . are known for shamanistic traditions • North Korea: an estimated 16% of the pop. – Little information of modern practices Similar practices are also found in Siberia. particularly in the south. Mongolia.Where is it practiced? • South Korea: 8% of the population – Certain regions in Korean.

History • Shamanistic traditions date back to prehistoric times and are based in agricultural societies • Shamanism wasn’t necessarily popular among Confucian believers. modern mudang are oriented toward serving the spiritual needs of urban individuals . but did have a lot of influence on Korean Buddhism • Today.

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