|Korean "Buk" Drum|
Korean shamanism, also known as Muism "mu [shaman] religion") or Sinism "religion of the shin" is the ethnic religion of Korea and the Koreans. In contemporary Korean language, the shaman-priest or mu is known as a mudang if female or baksu if male, although other names are used. In Korean shamanism, it is thought that there is another world besides that of the living, and in this spirit world there are both good and bad entities who can influence human affairs. The role of the mu is to act as intermediary between Heaven (spirit realm) and Earth (physical realm) through gut (rituals), seeking to resolve problems in the patterns of development of human life. The symbol of interlocking spirals featured on the drum in the photo is the Taegeuk ("Great Pole") -- representing Heaven (blue), Earth (red) and man (yellow), or the divine trinity. Sustained by the Earth and transformed by the Heavens, humanity is the bridge that unites the three realms. The Taegeuk is a Korean form of the ancient Chinese symbol Taiji the "supreme ultimate" state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potential, the oneness before duality, from which Yin and Yang originate. Read more.