The Shaman Kim Keum Hwa — ​ Korea’s National Treasure

Key words
Korean shamanism, musok, mudang, kut, Kim Keum Hwa
Anastasia V. Pogadaeva
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (499) 794-61-43
25a, Povarskaya str., Moscow, 121069, Russian Federation
PhD Candidate, A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences; Executive Editor, “Bulletin of Korean Studies in Russia”
Date of publication

This article is focused on “musok.” Korean shamanism. It highlights the main features of this phenomenon, and also lists works in Russian that discuss Korean shamanism and describe the role of the shaman-mudang. The shaman is a professional mediator between the world of people and the world of spirits, who in Korea is usually a female. In the course of Korean history, the position of shamans and the attitude of the state towards them has changed, although their status was usually low. In the second part of the article, the author analyzes the changing position of shamans in the twentieth century based on the example of the famous shaman Kim Keum Hwa. In the first half of the century, the attitude towards mudangs was complex. Under Japanese rule, as well as during the movement for the New Village, they were severely persecuted. In the 1970s the situation began to change, as folklorists and ethnographers showed great interest in shamanism. Shamanic rituals were recognized at the state level. Now shamanism in Korea is perceived as a part of national culture and self-identification, and not as a religious cult. The article is relevant in light of the study of Korean shamanism and its current situation on the Korean Peninsula. Material about Kim Keum Hwa is presented in Russian for the first time.


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For citation

Pogadaeva A. V. The Shaman Kim Keum Hwa — ​Korea’s National Treasure.Traditional Culture. 2022. Vol. 23. No. 1. Pp. 22–32. In Russian.