The Museum Of Shamanism
The Museum of Shamanism (TMOS) was established in Seoul, Korea on May 2, 2013 as the first museum dedicated to shamanism education and research. Folklorist and shamanism specialist, Yang Jongsung, founder the TMOS, was a senior curator at the National Folk Museum of Korea and an ICOM-ICME board member. Dr. Yang is now the director of TMOS, president of the Society for Shamanism Studies, and Chief Editor of the Journal of Shamanism Studies. After 3 years, 25th of May 2016, at its original venue, the museum moved to its new home at the Geumseongdang Shamanic Shrine, which is a designated National Folklore property in Eunpyeong-Gu, Seoul.
The Museum of Shamanism was founded to provide a venue for shamans and the public at large to experience the cultural legacy that Korea's shamanist tradition has embodied for several millennia. All of shamanic materials, data, relics, remains, and vestiges are tangible and intangible heritage which help people to understand Korea's history and culture, as well as bring clarity to the Korean ancestral wellspring. TMOS offers a unique opportunity for visitors to experience tangible cultural materials firsthand, while offering scholars a rare opportunity to study both the artifacts and the broader field through various mediums at the museum's disposal.
The collection of The Museum of Shamanism numbers approximatively 30,000 items, including: shaman paintings, pagodas, costumes, and varied instruments such as mirrors, bells, fans, knifes, spears, utensils, candlesticks, incense burners, paper flowers, hand-cut paper decorations, instruments, divination implements, and amulets. Additionally, there is a library of books, publications, photographs, video files, etc. Materials are on display in the two exhibition halls, outdoors, and in the museum library.
Geumseongdang Shamanic Shrine
The God enshrined in the Geumseongdang Shamanic Shrine was designated as Great King of Geumseong by King Chungryeol (1274-1308) of the Goryeo Dynasty. At that time, the Geumseong Mountain Ritual was held as a state rite, with offerings and royal sacrifices held to pray for the well-being of the nation and its people. The traditions of Goryeo led to those of the Joseon era. Five shrines were built on Geumseong Mountion as sites of prayer for the peace of the royal family and the honor and prosperity of the nation. In time, the Naju Geumseong Mountain Ritual was cast in a light asharmful superstition due to its immense scale and frequent affronts to various social customs: this eventually led to a loss of support for the rite. After the passing of Joseon, the Japanese occupiers met any such shamanic rituals with fierce scorn and contempt. After Korea's liberation from colonial rule, such religious rites were once again deemed superstitious as Korean leadership took influence from Western cultures and introduced the New Community Movement.
After Geumseong beliefs arrived in capital area of Seoul, the royal family supported the construction of shrines and the expanded their support of these beliefs. The materials that demonstrate the inflow of Geumseong beliefs into capital area include paintings, folktales of generals, and stories of Geumseong grandfathers of the Han River, which became both written and oral heritage passed down in area of the Han River. In the 15th century, King Sejong's sixth son, in the form of an infant spirit of Geumseong (1426-1457), was also enshrined in these sites. Today, the only remaining Geumseongdang Shamanic Shrine in Seoul rests in Gupabal. There are annual offerings and sacrifices at the shrine to foster the well-being and grand unity of the nation, along with peace for the nation, in the spring and autumn. Additionally, the Gupabal Geumseongdang Shamanic Shrine also serves as a memorial site for the royal employees buried in Imal Mountain.