In this paper, I suggest that shamanic rituals should be understood as negotiating practices between shamans, clients, and competing ideologies rather than as expressing or conveying an unchanging essence or meaning. Here, the ritual space is assumed to be a "matrix" in which these practices occur and hence shamans can verify and reinforce their shamanship, which is constructed by the looping effects between academic discourses and shamans' self-identity creation. Within the matrix, shamans make their rituals seem more plausible and efficacious while encountering their client's various needs. Based upon practice theory and such concepts as looping effects and the matrix, I will here examine two kinds of shamanic ritual. First, I examine <i>mukkuri</i> (ë¬´ê¾¸ë¦¬, divination), which I define as an initiatory stage for further negotiation processes, such as <i>kut</i> or other rituals, while trying to show how a shaman utilizes a specific divinatory style to strengthen the plausibility of his or her divination. Second, I introduce some outstanding aspects of the reconfiguration of modern <i>kut</i> performance, and explicate the cause of those reconfigurations. This approach to shamanic rituals will provide an alternative interpretive framework to overcome "Restoristic Folklore Scholarship."
Journal of Korean Religions – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 23, 2012