Korean shamanism

Korean shamanism or Korean folk religion is an animistic ethnic religion of Korea which dates back to prehistory[1] and consists of the worship of gods (신 shin) and ancestors (조상 josang) as well as nature spirits.[2] Hanja: 巫俗; musog or musok), the term Muism (Hangul:무속신앙; musok shinang) is also used.[3][4] Korean shamanism is similar to Chinese Wuism and related to the culture of Manchu and Siberian shamanism. It has been influenced by Taoism and Confucianism.[citation needed]

A mudang performing a gut in Seoul, South Korea.
Gardens of the Samseonggung, a shrine for the worship of Hwanin, Hwanung and Dangun.

The general word for "shaman" in Korean is mu (Hangul: 무, Hanja: 巫).[1] In contemporary terminology, they are called mudang (무당, 巫堂) if female or baksu if male, although other terms are used locally.[3][note 1] The Korean word mu is synonymous of the Chinese word wu 巫, which defines both male and female shamans.[7] The role of the mudang is to act as intermediary between the spirits or gods and humanity in order to solve hitches in the development of life, through the practice of gut rituals.[8]

Central to Korean shamanism is the belief in many different gods, supernatural beings and ancestor worship.[9] The mu are described as chosen persons.[10] (see: Korean mythology)

Korean shamanism has influenced some Korean new religions, such as Cheondoism and Jeungsanism, and some Christian churches in Korea make use of practices rooted in shamanism.[11]

The mythology of Korean shamanism is orally recited during gut rituals. In Jeju, these are called bon-puri.