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Investigative research towards the designation of shamanic village rituals as ‘intangible cultural properties’ of the Seoul Metropolitan Government

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Abstract:

Shamanic rituals taking place in Aegissidang, Mount Bonghwa Dodang, and Bamseom Bugundang, were thoroughly investigated by three experts appointed by the Board of Cultural Properties of Seoul MetropolitanGovernment. This religious belief and its related practices is still carried on by many shamans, religious specialists and their followers with the doctrines being handed down orally rather than in the form of written scriptures. Nonetheless, it is still a struggle to convince many Koreans of the cultural worth of shamanism.Owing to a deeply ingrained and stereotypical definition of what constitute religious doctrines and practices, its value as cultural heritage is often rejected. The Seoul Metropolitan Government and its Board have taken the initiative in designating these rites as ‘intangible cultural properties’ and hope this will lead to a morepositive understanding of shamanism as a significant and valuable part of Korean traditional culture.

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