Invention and Reinvention in Modern South Korean Shamanism
Keywords:South Korean shamanism, female shaman, western medicine, eastern medicine, cultural property, ritual, mysticism
The historical records of Korean spiritual life establishes an essential trinity of faiths that have built the nation's religious experiences while wrestling and negotiating with each other in relative peace. Buddhism and Confucianism have long been seen the two stalwarts of the spirits and moral reinforcement, while the recent introduction of Christianity has become a symbol of modernity. However, one of the most overlooked features of Korea's pre-history, history, and current reality has been the function of Shamans within the cultural and religious backdrop of the longest unified state. With the fracturing of the Korean peninsula and the sudden and nearly all-penetrating influence of globalization, the Shamanic traditions have shown the historical ability to adapt to change in their rituals and their social roles while continuing to today.