Ancient Korean Shamanism and Seoul's Shrines with David Mason - Context Travel

Ancient Korean Shamanism and Seoul's Shrines with David Mason


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This is an overview of Korean Shamanism, its most ancient form of spirituality, and its most colorful. Remarkably, it is still quite strong and widespread today, all over the cities and deep mountains. Hundreds of spirits are worshipped and supplicated for the benefits they can bring, and psycho-social problems get resolved in all-night ceremonies. This lecture-conversation will get you familiar with how Siberian Shamanism came to Korea millennia ago, and then was influenced by Chinese Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism to become the unique national tradition we now enjoy – something truly “Korean”.

Although present today, we will discuss how Shamanism has been completely wiped out in North Korea, and much of it is still illegal in the South. The government does not promote it to international tourists, and outsiders don’t know where to find the shrines or meet the shamans; they are often unwelcome if they do find one while hiking in the deep mountains. Our virtual guide, Professor Mason is one of the few “foreign” insiders that can show the private places and strange rituals, using the best of his own stunning photos and a short video. Participants will be introduced to the spirits, artworks, shrines, and practitioners with full explanations – and have all their questions answered.

Led by a renowned expert on the History of Korean Spirituality and Cultural Tourism, Professor David A. Mason, this interactive seminar will inform participants of all that is most interesting about Korean Shamanism. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, learners will come away with an increased appreciation of this amazing country's unique Shamanic evolution and treasures.

David A. Mason is a Michigan-born professor of Korean Cultural Tourism at Sejong University, Seoul Campus, and a longtime researcher on Northeast Asian History and the religious characteristics of Korea's mountains. He offers vivid tours with deep contextual insight and fascinating details, telling many old stories relevant to the sites, with warm humor. He has been an academic in South Korea since 1986, and also served as a consultant for the national Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism and the United Nations World Tourism Organization for five years. Mason earned a Masters' Degree in the History of Korean Religions from Yonsei University in 1997. He has authored and edited ten books on Korean culture and tourism.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous
Great class and instructor!

Loved this class. Could tell the instructor was really excited about the topic and about being there. It was super cool to listen to and great information

L
L.
DAVID MASON'S KOREAN SHAMAN TOUR

David Mason's tour was full of information and lots of fascinating photos taken by him showing the little known (and appreciated) Korean shaman rituals. He helped us understand where shamanism sits within the long history of the Korean people and why it requires a knowledgeable guide to search it out today. Thank you!

L
L.H.
Interesting insight into Korean Shamanism

Fascinating topic and an interesting presentation. A little 'wordy' and I would have liked a little less background and a little more about the day-to-day reality of being a shaman, and what the ceremonies consist of.
The final segment about shaman shrines around Seoul was particularly interesting.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
67%
(2)
33%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous
Great class and instructor!

Loved this class. Could tell the instructor was really excited about the topic and about being there. It was super cool to listen to and great information

L
L.
DAVID MASON'S KOREAN SHAMAN TOUR

David Mason's tour was full of information and lots of fascinating photos taken by him showing the little known (and appreciated) Korean shaman rituals. He helped us understand where shamanism sits within the long history of the Korean people and why it requires a knowledgeable guide to search it out today. Thank you!

L
L.H.
Interesting insight into Korean Shamanism

Fascinating topic and an interesting presentation. A little 'wordy' and I would have liked a little less background and a little more about the day-to-day reality of being a shaman, and what the ceremonies consist of.
The final segment about shaman shrines around Seoul was particularly interesting.