Jeju Island’s Haenyo: A User’s Manual, bil-le, bil-le, beach of death

the next in Joey Rositano’s series Jeju Island’s Haenyo: A User’s Manual. please get yourself over to pagansweare & leave yours comments or follow please. Joey has a very unique foot in the door, owing to his contacts & capability with the Jeju local dialect, among many other talents. you can learn much about the culture of Jeju & especially its Haenyo, which you aren’t going to find much written about in your local bookstore. here is a man in the thick of it who can provide information on these unique women which is not easy to come across, take advantage.



The women of one coastal village on Jeju Island, South Korea are so tough, even the shamans feel a certain hesitation to perform rituals there.

I can attest to their toughness. Pyeol-ro-Neo-man-ri was one of the first villages I explored and probably the village, over several years, that I returned to the most. One afternoon in late spring, I found myself  in a small country lane, squaring off with a woman, probably in her late sixties, who’d raised her fist higher than my head. She was threatening to smash my camera right out of my hands.

In retrospect, her trying to smash my camera would have made for great video. I tried to joke my way out of the situation, but her face remained stern. So, I made it clear I was only trying collect some information.

“What information?” she asked.

“About traditions, stuff like that,” I said.


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Of Rhyme & Reason No2—The reason the rhymer rhymes their rhymes

New poets or those poets who wish to write in traditional forms will start by considering rhyme; i am sure, even if they decide not to use it, poetry suggests rhyme to the uninitiated & a poet will probably make a decision not to use it: perhaps it feels remote, difficult, constricting, unnecessary, not what …

Of rhyme & reason No1- both short & long feet skip the line

Of rhyme & reason No1- both short & long feet skip the line I i recently sent a sample of my juvenilia to a blogger particularly interested in my poetry. For this reason i thought the person in question might be intrigued to read my early poems. i am not interested in any flattery for …

Jeju Island’s Haenyo: A User’s Manual, the diver who heard music underwater

2nd post in Joey Rositano’s series on the Haenyo, woman divers native to Jeju Island. this series is not to be missed by anyone with a fascination for native religions, anthropology & culture. Joey knows his stuff, he has been researching on Jeju religious practice for about 5 years or so has published a book of photography called Spirits & is in the process of making a documentary on the topic of Jeju shamanism.


I had a beautiful experience once, one night drinking wine on a coastal boardwalk, in a village just outside of the city.

It was mid-summer.  I think in those days I was inviting whoever I could to come out where I lived to share some wine and conversation. Otherwise, it was pretty lonely. On this particular evening, a young woman I found walking down the boardwalk, Young Ji, joined me.

As we walked along, Young Ji told me about herself. She had grown up on the southern coast of Jeju Island, in a woman diver’s house, right on the beach. The diver wasn’t her grandmother by blood, but one of her grandfather’s wives. In those days, many Jeju Island men had several wives. Not because they were upper class (upper class men often did have several wives long ago in Korea), but because there were so few men. Many died…

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Jeju Island’s Haenyo: A User’s Manual, interview with a young diver

you may remember Joe’s photographs from previous posts i did. Joe lives on Jeju, has done for years & for a good chunk of that time he has been documenting shamanism on the island which led him inevitably to the haenyo divers. this interview with the youngest haenyo is an excellent window into the mindset & activities of these mysterious & fascinating women, who are catching the attention of the world more & more.



The first in a series of posts for 2017 in which I explore issues affecting the women divers (haenyo) of Jeju Island, South Korea– issues primarily related to the gentrification and rapid development of South Korea’s largest island.  I’ve been speaking with the haenyo in depth over the last five years as part of my ongoing documentary project on the spiritual aspects of island life.

The following is an interview with one of the island’s younger divers who I will be calling Kyoung Jin Park. Kyoung Jin wishes to remain anonymous and asked not to have her photo featured in the post.  On our first meeting, we sat down together at a coffee shop. In the following interview, she reflects on the trials and joys of being a young diver. We discussed her experiences with overbearing photographers, the artisans capitalizing on the women divers’ image and the recent…

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A Saxophonist’s Guide To The North Indian Raga

an essential read. Daniel Schnee really knows his stuff & this piece on North Indian music is a window into his encyclopedic mind.

Dr. Daniel Schnee


ベーナ・サハスラ バーデイ

Master Veena Sahasrabuddhe (1948 – 2016)

Though there have been numerous introductory articles written about North Indian classical music for beginners or musicians from outside the tradition, a good many of them focus on each note set (raga) like they are simply scales to be ascended and descended like jazz rudiments; like reading Hamlet out loud somehow makes one a skilled Shakespearean actor! Unfortunately this approach, though usually well meaning, has led to a great many misunderstandings about Indian music, and a lot of poorly wrought jazz and world beat music. The most profound and successful hybrids of North Indian music and other systems, though, have occurred when cultural context and terminology has been explored, and both student and performer are connecting on a mutually understood conceptual level. This conceptual understanding is not only absolutely essential, it is also very interesting and deeply inspiring, giving you…

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i wouldn’t wish time’s disappearance on anyone, but I might- a New Year message

the New Year approaches as inevitably it does after 364 days. it is a time i am ever fidgety with. my discomfort stems from my inability to wrap my head around why we celebrate the death of time, as i see it. people who celebrate the New Year are looking forward, eager to right the …

Christmas Mythology II: What is History and What is Myth in the Nativity Stories?

if you wish to dig a little deeper into the real meaning of Christmas read this article by a great scholar, Arthur George. his blog is a treasure trove of brilliant insights into myth & religion.

Mythology Matters

This post is the first of several leading up to this Christmas dealing with the mythology lurking behind our Christmas stories, rituals, and holiday celebrations, starting with the stories of Jesus’s birth and leading up to our modern day. It will be something of a sleigh ride, and I hope you come along and enjoy it. (Head’s up: The other posts will be much shorter than this one! Also, my first Christmas mythology post was on December 23 last year and fits in here, so you’ll want to check that too.)

In respect of the stories of Jesus’s birth, we are concerned with the “mythology” of Christmas in two main respects. The first is to separate out how much of the Christmas story is historical and how much is myth (in the sense of not being true), so that we can be as clear as possible about the extent to which…

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the ‘authenticity’ dialogue continues… on travel

to everyone who replied to my previous post with their definitions of 'authenticity' & were patient enough to indulge me by answering my follow-up questions, thank you ever so much, i really appreciate your efforts, isn't over yet. it seems from my previous post that peoples' general definitions are that it is quite flexible: …

Choi Soon-sil, the “Rasputin” who Controlled the South Korean President, is no Shaman. — pagansweare

this is a recent post on what a real shaman is. if you are following the political turmoil in Korea at the moment you may be being misled that Choi Soon-sil is a shaman. here Joey Rositano whose photographs i have already introduced to you explains why she is not. please consider following him & …