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.

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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.

“There’s…

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a handful of photos

just a handful of photos from the last goodness knows when— mostly recent & one from quite a while back: the one of the flower man was taken in summer. there is a variation of feeling here i think, something to illustrate Jeju's diverse weather & landscape. all of these photos have been shot using …

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 …

the soju drinker

Tim Miller at wordandsilence first published this poem a few months ago. i recommend reading what Tim has to say on matters; he has a rare ability for impartiality & seeing beyond the received dogma of media opinion & nonsense toward a unique & imperative perspective. the soju drinker appears here in a revised form. …

Filling in the blanks— a poem about Kim Yeong Gap (김영갑) the coda

hope something of the spirit of the man you absorbed from these lines that tried to bring him back from the dead   his dream count the tallest trees with only Latin & Korean names, the oreums feminine contours involuntarily on fingers & toes then follow the pheasant track stars through Halla’s forests into dreams …

Filling in the blanks— a poem about Kim Yeong Gap (김영갑) 1st of 2 posts

this is one poem written in 7 sections, but i have decided to split it into 2 posts with accompanying photographs. i recommend seeking his work out, he is a treasure of Jeju, his death was a loss to Jeju & Korea, a singular, sensitive mind. Filling in the blanks— a poem about Kim Yeong …

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.

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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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