Pagans We Are does TEDx (video inside)

so proud to call this man my friend. i’ll keep this short as there is so much inside waiting for you to learn & i should not take up your time with my praises that could fill an ocean.

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This past November, I gave a TEDx talk on Jeju Island, where I’ve been documenting shamanic shrine culture for the past five years, as you well know if you follow my page. I talk about my video and photography work and the importance of preserving sacred spaces, many of which are in danger on Jeju Island as well as world wide. I made my own version of the Tedx talk because the audio of the original is not so good and some of the content was cut during the editing. Here is my version. Please share!

Text of the talk in English with Korean translation:

SHAMANIC SHRINES THAT HEAL

1 INTRODUCTION

I have been documenting shamanic shrine worship on Jeju Island, South Korea, for the last five years. Jeju Island is a beautiful, once more remote place than it is today located about 60 kilometers south of mainland South Korea…

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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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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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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.

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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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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, but...it 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 & [...]

my poem 해녀 featured on Jose Angel Araguz’s thefridayinfluence

i am over the moon to report that the poet Jose Angel Araguz, author of the beautiful, aphoristic The Book of Flight, has published one of my poems 해녀, alongside photographs by the mythographer, filmmaker & photographer of Joey Rositano, on his blog thefridayinfluence. you have perhaps read about my admiration of Jose's work before that [...]