Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Seongeup Village, Jeju

Seongeup Village, located at the foot of Mount Halla on Jeju Island, is a small town that holds a vast amount of culture.

The village shows the unique culture of Jeju Island, such as the black lava rock walls, the straight but curvy alleys to block the wind, and the stone grandfather statues known as Harubang.

Jars used to transport water in the past

The local black-haired pigs and tongsi (i.e. pigsty or restroom) are especially well-known characteristics of Jeju folk culture. The pig pen, made from volcanic stones, is also an open-air restroom. These black-haired pigs once used to feed on faeces supplied from these open-air restroom. But not to worry too much when the tour guide actually brings you for black-haired pigs pork, as these pigs are now fed normal pig food :)

The open-air restroom or toilet
The black-haired pig

One interesting 'practice' is the use of three-long-logs-gate to inform any visitors on whether the owner is at home or out, and if out, whether would be back soon or after some time later. If one bar is up, this means that the owner has gone out for a couple of minutes and would be back soon. If two bars are up, this means that the owner would be out for a while and would be returning later. Meanwhile, if all three bars are up, this means that the owner would be out for the entire day. Such being Jeju's unique culture and virtue with no beggar, thief or gate. Interesting, huh?

Three-long-logs-gate, known as Jeongnang

Another interesting fact is that the Seongeup Village is the shooting location for the famous Korean drama, Dae Jang Geum, or known as Jewel in the Palace. If you find that this place looks familiar, and if you have watched this drama before, well, this might explains the familiarity then :)

A Jeju woman stone statue, next to a picture of Dae Jang Geum

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