|Jiri-san's Naedae-cheon Valley
지리산 내대천골 PAGE THREE:
in the Inner-Southeast Sector of Jiri-san
At the top of the long Naedae-cheon Valley, where the road ends and only hiking-trails proceed up the streams, and
it then splits into the Geolim-gol Valley heading northwest and the Dojang-gol Gorge heading north, another quite
incongruous sight greets us -- an old metal sign announces the "Jiri-san Geolim-gol Sanshin-halmae-dang
[Mountain-spirit-grandma Shrine], a Sanshin-gido-dorang [Practice-Site for Praying to the Mountain-spirit], another
fascinating openly-Shamanist place. Next to the sign and its garbage-pile is a moving-text electronic sign giving info
about National Park conditions, and a porta-potty for hikers in need. At first we thought the building behind the sign
was the Shrine, but it's just a Minbak farmhouse. Our guide for the afternoon, my friend the fishing-guide and writer
James Card, showed us that the shrine was across a narrow old metal bridge that reaches a rocky little island in
the boulder-filled clean-water stream.
|Several shrines to San-shin and other Shamanic deities, and a crude residence, decorate the small island
|The Sanshin-gak [Mountain-spirit Shrine],
really the Main Hall here, has its signboard in modern Hangeul characters reading L-to-R, another "common people" touch.
The painting inside is of a female San-shin, appropriately, but she looks quite young to be a "halmae" [familiar folkish
form of halmoni which means "grandmother"] -- but then, She is "immortal"... The tiger is modern/realistic and fairly
chubby, looking a bit stunned. The girl-dongja attends, while the boy-dongja rides in from the left bearing a branch
with immortality-peaches hanging from it -- riding on another tiger, a specifically Shamanic motif.
The clean waters of Naedaecheon Stream rushing below this Shamanic
complex, and an extra "hidden" shrine beneath a huge boulder down there
|Behind that Sanshin-gak, an outdoor altar at a boulder with a natural "eye" marking
|close-up of the altar, with what the Shaman named a "shinjang-mireuk-seoksang" [spirit-guardian future-buddha stone-statue]
|close-up of unusual folkish altar-displays off to the sides
|close-up of that locked doorway -- the sign just says
"don't touch this". This shrine was only found by
my friend James Card when he was fishing his
way up this valley. He took the photos below...
Peering through the little hole in the door, he managed
these shots of the shrine interior, candles still burning.
A national flag is visible, a Shin-jung painting on the
left and a San-shin painting on the main altar. Detail
below -- it's the same image as up at the main shrine.
General view of
that shrine, 2004
|close-up of that shinjang-mireuk-seoksang statue, and two suseok [water-shaped rocks] set up for nature-worship, in 1999