Sunday, August 28, 2011

Traditional Korean Rites at Seoul Art Space Yeonhui

Last Friday night, my lovely hosts at Seoul Art Space Yeonhui performed a traditional Korean ritual in order to bless the new year, appease some spirits seen wandering about the grounds of the residency--which I learned had once been an important and much contested battlefield during the Korean war with many bodies still buried beneath! eek!--and show me what a traditional ritual looked like, knowing my strong interest in this topic.

In addition to the staging of the ritual (see above)--which included a real pig's head, wine offerings, ritual readings, Buddhist-like prostrations, and otherworldly shamanistic drumming and singing--many of the art and writer residents, including myself, were asked to give a brief reading. Afterwards, we had a drunken feast--with much flowing of Makgeolli, my new favorite drink!--that went long into the night while the feral cats attempted to eat the pigs head, the owls hooted, and the mosquitos bit.

Really lovely. Thanks to my kind hosts here for putting this together on my behalf. Incredibly kind and much appreciated!

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