Dirk Schlottmann

Among the several regional shamanism traditions practiced in South Korea today, Hwanghaedo shamanism is widely acknowledged as the one that retains the magio-religious traits that are the spiritual essence of Korean shamanism’s belief and practice.

The project shows the Korean shamans of the North Korean Hwanghaedo tradition in liminal moments. These are periods in which they experience ecstasy and trance because they seek contact with spiritual entities or are possessed by gods, spirits, or ancestors. They are in an intermediate position “betwixt and between” that is very difficult to describe and is in fact experienced in a manifold of ways. The shamans that came as refugees after the Korea war imported the Hwanghaedo tradition from North Korea to South Korea. The ecstatic and wild ritual practice survived in South Korea because many refugees perceived this tradition as part of their culture and identity. Among the several regional shamanism traditions practiced in South Korea today, Hwanghaedo shamanism is widely acknowledged as the one that retains the magio-religious traits that are the spiritual essence of Korean shamanism’s belief and practice.

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