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Korean Shamanism & Modern Life of Korea

Seminar & Performance to Finland, Estonia, Norway

Seminar on

A Korean Shaman Performance, Namhaean Pyolsingut (Intangible Cultural Asset No. 84-d, Shaman Ritual in Southern Coast) will be presented by the Society for the Preservation of Shaman Ritual of the Southern Coast of Korea.


In cooperation with

Korean shamanism is a collective term to designate a folk magical-religious tradition that includes private, domestic, and communal rituals. It centres on the belief of the supernatural beings and on the spiritual experience of the shaman. Shamanism, the first religion established in Korea,is an accumulation of "five thousand years" of Korean life, thought, and culture, so is the representative folk belief of the so-called "grass roots" of the Korean society. It also has played a key role as the carrier of traditional culture such as drama, music, dance, myth, and epic poem. For instance, Korean drama is deeply rooted in the shaman ritual, called kut. Shaman dance inspires the creation of many contemporary concert dances while throughout the course of Korea's long history, shaman music exerted a forceful effect on the development of other folk music traditions, and still maintains a "fundamental musical grammar" that supports the underlying Korean cultural pattern. Furthermore, most Koreans, even though many of them are ambivalent about shamanism, believe that shamanism helps to preserve the "primitive ethos" or the deep-rooted "national ethos."