Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Jeju Folk Village

Finally the long awaiting post about Jeju Folk Village that has been taking me ages to complete. *Phew* Well..Jeju Folk Village aka Seongeup Folk Village (성읍민속마을) is located at the foot of Mt. Halla on Jeju Island. Its a small town that is rich in Korean culture as it has been passed down from generation to generations. 
Seongeup Folk Village
In this place, there are residential house, Confucian shrines and schools, large millstones (that are pulled by horses), fortress ruins and stone monuments. This Folk Village shows the unique culture of Jeju Island such as:
  • the black lava rocks walls
  • the straight but curvy alleys to block the wind, and
  • the stone grandfather statues (Harubang), which have become a prime feature of the landscape
  • the local black-haired pigs and tongsi (pigsty/restroom) are especially well-known characteristics of Jeju folk culture. The Jeju black pork is said to be very nutritious.
At the entrance of the Jeju Folk Village
@Entrance of Jeju Folk Village
Once past through the entrance...
A raft? Not sure..
 
Saw a fountain..where the statue depicting Jeju women has to carry heavy water jars (Heo-beok) for long distance. Probably this is the reason why many women in Jeju are short in height?
Well..since long time ago men were treated like kings. According to our tour guide, due to volcanic eruptions back then, lotsa of males have died and the ones that have survived were involved in war activities. So there were only few men left in the villages available to procreate, thus the special treatment. The head of the families were not allowed to do heavy work as it may damage their health. Therefore, all house chores and other work were left with the mother, who also had to take care of the children at the same time! wtf!
There is about 117 houses in Jeju Folk Village, and its divided into different types of housing such as:
  • Mountain Village :
There is a hunble man's cottage, a grazer's house, a hunter's house, a single-pole cottage
  • Hill Country Village : A head family's house, a wealthy man's house, a forced exile house, a school of Confucianism, Chinese herb medicine store, a black smith's shop, and a farmer's house in southern region
  • Fishing Village : a fisher's house, a female diver's house and a fishing tool exhibition hall Old Cheju
  • Shamanism Village : a witch's house, a village altar, a shrine of the god of the sea, a Meitreya shrine for the god of the village, a fortune teller's house
  • Old Jeju Administration Office : Hyangcheong, the cabinet office, a main office, a jail

  • based on their original status during the 19th century. 
     
    Did you know that the popular Korean Drama 'Dae Jang Geum' (Jewel In The Palace) was filmed here too??
    Korean Drama 'Dae Jang Geum' (Jewel In The Palace) was filmed here from 11 - 27 December 2003. It was broadcasted from September 2003 to March 2004 and recorded the highest program rating of 57%. Most of the episodes in the Dae Jang Geum was filmed in the Jeju Folk Village. 

    Found the opening theme for this series:

    Synopsis of this series from wiki:
    About 500 years ago during the time of Chosun Dynasty, Korea boasted a rigidly hierarchical and male dominated social structure. Set in this period, "Jewel in the Palace" is based on a true story about a legendary girl (Jang Geum) who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her times. Despite her poor condition as a low class girl in the male dominated society, Jang Geum overcame a series of social discrimination and landed herself as a royal cook, later becoming the royal physician, then ultimately the physician in charge of the king. She was even given by the king the title "The Great Jang Geum." The story of her checkered life on her success and breakdown as well as her love story beautifully unfold. "Jewel in the Palace" is sure to touch your heart.

    Click here for more info about this series filming site.

    Personally I did not watch this series as I dun like any series in the typical tradional clothes, so for those korean drama fans who dun mind about traditional stuff...this is one of the recommended popular high rating drama that you should not miss it!

    Okay..before I go into more details of historical stuff you can find in the Jeju Folk Village, did you all know that Jeju island is known as a province of Three Abundancies, Three Lacks and Three Treasures? Hmm..why the big 3s?

    According to Jeju site, Jeju island is well known as a province of 
    • Samda : Three abundancies (rocks, wind, women) -  which means plenty of rocks (Seokda), wind (Pungda) and women (Yeoda)
    • Sammu : Three Lacks (thief, gate, beggar) - meaning no thief, gate or beggar in Jeju. Damn peaceful place!
    • Samryeo : Three Treasures (three beauties, Sambo) - meaning beautiful nature, folklore, and native industries of Jeju or three resources which is edible crops, marine products and tourism
    Since Jeju is famous for Sammu which means that there are no beggars, no thieves, and no gates. What does having no gates mean? It has been said that Jeju people were honest and not greedy even though they are poor due to barren lands and harsh natural environment. As a result, they didn't need to have gates to prevent thieves from entering their houses. 
    Anyone knows what is Jeongjuseok and Jeongnang in front of a Jeju house?
    Jeju people uses Jeongjuseok and Jeongnang to function as a sort of signal for keeping cow and horse from escaping and predicting when the house owner will return home with the number of Jeongnang.

    So wtf is Jeongjuseok and Jeongnang?


    1 to 3 jeongnangs are used to represent different indications
    • Jeongjumeok is the stone pillar with 3 holes in it
    • Jeongnang is the wooden bars that are set up inside the ollae, the path leading to a house that served as a front gate
    So how does Jeongnangs used for different indications?
    • 1 bar up means that owner will not be home for a short time or the owner is resting and not available at the moment, so please come back in a bit.
    • 2 bars up meaning the owner will not come back for a longer period of time or the owner will be out for a few hours
    • All 3 bars up mean that he or she will not come back that day, or the owner is not at home for a few days
    • If all bars are down, means you are most welcome to come in now
    This different indications and signs allowed people in the town to share information and take care of cattle when the owner of a house would not be home for a long time.   

    A few interesting discoveries in this folk village:

    1. Tongsi (sounds like Tosai in Hokkien also..lol)


    The tongsi is a traditional Jeju toilet. In order to keep this toilet up and running, a stone wall and a few small piggies are required. As you are doing you big or small biz over an opening between a few large, well positioned stones, the pigs wait beneath you to catch your, um..biz. To make this toilet even more environmental friendly, the pigs are later eaten once they've fattened up a little. Apparently, black piggies taste very good! Ok, I actually had that also in Jeju..checkout my post here..but wait!! Dun go puke and think of it as gross yet! The piggies now are fed in normal way, k! So if u dun relate to how it was used to fed in olden days, you wont think of it as gross, k?
    See the opening there...positioned your bum bum on top of this opening to do ur biz. Beware of hungry black piggies behind the wall while doin ur biz..so u better ya hold a stick while doing it!
    Since I can't have a real photo of how ppl do their biz..see the photo here how Jeju ppl uses Tongsi
    Black piggies...dun worry they are not eating uhm..human biz in this photo
    2. Nul 

    It'a actually Jeju's language refering to the dry grass haystack for cattle.
    Jeju folks used Nul to build their house roof top
    Nice Nul rooftop rite?
    3. Chomhang 

    It's a vase or jar that collects the rain. Altho Jeju is an island but it is lack of water because of it's geological feature, whim stone. The rain goes under the island and wells up around the seashores; therefore it was quite difficult for them to cultivate land which cannot hold water for an enuf time.
    Description about Chomhang

    See..briliant idea by Jeju folks - Chomhang to filter and collect rain water using dry strays
    4. Ojumhang
    'Ojumhang' refers to a pot which was placed near Dotong (toilet) for collecting men's urine and urine from Korean chamber pot.
    Diagram of how Jeju men uses Ojumhang
    The real Ojumhang
    5. Lastly, how can I miss out to mention about Dol Hareubang

    'Dol Hareubang' - the names comes from the Korean words for stone (Dol,돌) Jeju dialect of grandfather or senior hareubang, 하르방 "harabeoji[할아버지] in Standard Korean"). Believed to offer both fertility and protection, these stone guardian are to be seen everywhere on Jeju Island. 


     "Touch the stomach for wealthy, the nose for baby boy and the ear for baby girl", as explained by the guide in fluent Mandarin.
    *rub the Dol Hareubang stomach as hard as I can*
    Boyfie and me taking a photo with Dol Hareubang
    Due to time constraint, I managed to cover only some Jeju folk houses in Mountain Village and Hill-country Village only:
    In Mountain Village: Hunter's House

    In Hill-country Village: Southern Stock Farmer's House

    Boyfie @ Jeju Folk Village

    How to get here?
    40-1, Pyoseon-Ri, Pyoseon-Myun,
    Seogwipo-Si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province,
    697-914, Korea  

    Directions:
    From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal take an Intercity Bus to Beonnyeong-ro.
    Get off at 'Seongeup 1(il)-ri' (성읍리) samuso.
    Go around the corner and walk along the road for about 200m.  
    (Bus - travel time: 1hr, 40min)

    From Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal take the Dongilju bus.
    Get off at ‘Pyoseon-ri samuso.'
    Go straight and turn left at the intersection.
    Walk straight until you get to the bus stop.
    Take Beonnyeong-ro bus.
    Get off at ‘Seupeup 1-ri.’
    (Bus - travel time: 45 min)
    Check this map for details.

    Admission Fees: KRW 8,000 per pax (~RM22)


    Opening Hours: Typically from 8.30am to 5pm (Varies by date)

    *Check here for the summary of my 2012 Korea+Jeju Trip itinerary.

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