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The Samgong bon-puri is a Korean shamanic narrative recited in southern Jeju Island, associated with the goddess Samgong. It is among the most important of the twelve general bon-puri, which are the narratives known by all Jeju shamans.

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  • Samgong bon-puri
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  • The Samgong bon-puri is a Korean shamanic narrative recited in southern Jeju Island, associated with the goddess Samgong. It is among the most important of the twelve general bon-puri, which are the narratives known by all Jeju shamans.
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  • First six lines of the first known transcription of the Samgong bon-puri, published in 1937.
hangul
  • 삼공본풀이
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  • Samgong bon-puri
hanja
  • 풀이
mr
  • Samgong pon-p'uri
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  • The Samgong bon-puri is a Korean shamanic narrative recited in southern Jeju Island, associated with the goddess Samgong. It is among the most important of the twelve general bon-puri, which are the narratives known by all Jeju shamans. The myth centers on a girl named Gameunjang-agi, the third and youngest daughter of two beggars. Her parents become very rich after her birth. One day, they ask their daughters the reason for their good fortune. Gameunjang-agi is expelled for crediting her own linea nigra instead of her parents. When her sisters chase her away from the house, Gameunjang-agi turns them into a centipede and a mushroom. Soon after, her parents go blind, lose all their wealth, and return to being beggars. Gameunjang-agi joins a family of impoverished yam gatherers and marries their good-hearted youngest son. The next day, she discovers that her husband's yam fields are full of gold and silver. After becoming rich again, she holds a feast for beggars which her parents attend, oblivious of the fact that their daughter is hosting them. At the end of the feast, Gameunjang-agi reveals her identity and restores her parents' sight. Gameunjang-agi is worshipped as Samgong, the goddess of jeonsang: a concept roughly equivalent to human destiny. In this religious context, the Samgong bon-puri narrative demonstrates how the goddess assigns a propitious destiny to the good-hearted who respect her and an unfavorable one to the evil-minded who do not. The myth may reflect the proactive, self-driven ethics upheld by Korean shamanism. Many scholars have also noted that the figure of Gameunjang-agi subverts traditional patriarchal expectations of women. While the narrative per se exists only in Jeju Island, a very similar folktale is told in mainland Korea, albeit without religious significance. Similar stories are also known in Buddhist mythology and among the minorities of the southern Chinese highlands.
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