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Observations placeholder

Mudang spiritual experiences – Prophecy and symbols



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Korean Shamanist Ritual - Symbols and Dramas of Transformation - Daniel Kister

Mudang sometimes speak of the need of those present to be ritually pure, which may mean that they have recently refrained from sexual activity or from eating certain kinds of food.

The ritual performances themselves may center to varying degrees on imitation of the gods and ancestral spirits, as well as on oracular proclamations, divination, and symbolic signs, which may sometimes be magical, sometimes sacrificial.

Theatrical means often give life to the performances and account for much of their transformational power. A mudang may employ stylized patterns of mimetic imitation, song, dance, and stage symbolism; and she may make use of theatrical bedazzlement, skilful improvisation, and abundant humour and verbal wit.

Seoul kut are particularly theatrical. In a typical kori of a Seoul-area kut, a mudang begins with a gradually quickening dance to induce a trance-like state in which a god or spirit is believed to be present within her.

The source of the experience

Korean mystic shamanism

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Symbol system

Activities and commonsteps