Korea & Jeju Winter Fun – Museums – Day 4

January 5th, 2010 7 Commented

After an intensive trekking at Seongsang Peak, we headed to the Jeju Haenyeo Museum to gain a better understanding of the work of a Woman Diver (a.k.a. the Mother of the Sea).

Here, I have included an introduction of Haenyeo Museum taken from Korea Tourism Org.

Haenyeo refers to female divers who dive into the ocean water to gather various shellfish, seaweed, etc, without using any underwater diving equipment. When diving underwater, a haenyeo carries only a pair of goggles, a round ball-like tube to keep her balance, and a basket to put her collections in. Such women involved in the fishing industry are known to be scattered all around Jeju-do, Korea, Japan, and Russia.

Jeju-do has established the Jeju Haenyeo Museum to introduce to the world the unique activities and culture of Jejudo’s haenyeo female divers. Exhibition Hall 1 is entitled “Haenyeo Diver’s Life” and has a restoration of a traditional haenyeo’s home, and her meals. Also on display, to show a more realistic view into their daily lives, are the various utensils used by female divers.

Exhibition Hall 2 displays a pair of haenyeo divers’ goggles and the fishing spheres they often use underwater. Her traditional working outfit is also on display along with various historical records and haenyeo-related materials.

Exhibition Hall 3 has an underwater theme called “The Sea” and displays the fishing industry’s culture. Traditional fishnets and fishing equipment are on display including small ship models and salt farm models.

The Jeju Haenyeo Museum exhibits various photos of haenyeo female divers and their activities, to provide an accurate picture of their lives. The Jeju Haenyeo Museum also has an observatory from where visitors can see an excellent view of the Hado-ri area, which has a garden with various sculptures and a resting area. The first floor lobby has a souvenir shop where visitors can purchase a variety of souvenirs related to haenyeo female divers.


After watching a short eight-minute introduction about the Haenyeo female divers, we proceeded to learn more about their lifestyles and cultures through showcase displays. The diorama shows the houses of Jeju village, similar to the ones we saw at the village in Korea & Jeju Winter Fun – Part 7.


These displays show the daily life activities of the Haenyeo in Jeju.


Here is an example of the cooked food (miniature) taken from their catches.

This is an example of the dishes used in their religious activities.


A view of their activities in the sea.


From the photos below, you can find out which equipments are used by the Haenyeo(s) in their gathering activities by identifying the small images associated with the tools. For example, the tools in the first photo are used to gather seaweed, the second photo shows the tools that are used to catch fishes and so on.


This is the exterior of the Haenyeo Museum.

After gaining a better understanding of the Haenyeo’s life in Jeju, we left the museum for another museum, the Jeju Folklore and Natural Museum to see and learn more about the natural historical materials of Jeju and an islander’s life-span of birth marriage, birthday, funeral and memorial service. They exhibit every event and celebration with detailed sculpted human beings in the showcase displays. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any photos in this museum. But, I secretly took three. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone k? ;)

Jeju Folklore & Natural History Museum currently has on exhibition folklore remains and natural historical materials of Jeju-do that were excavated in Jeju-do and displayed in 1984.

The museum is divided into 4 exhibition halls: the Natural History Hall, the Folklore Exhibition HallⅠ, the Folklore Exhibition HallⅡ, and the Outdoor Exhibition.

The Natural History Exhibition Hall displays mainly natural historical items such as marine life, soil and rocks, and fauna and flora of Jeju in a three-dimensional way. It gives visitors a better understanding of Jeju’s unique nature and culture. It is divided into an Ecology Hall of Marine Life, a Soil and Rock Exhibition Hall, and a Land Ecosystem Hall.

In Folklore Exhibition Hall I, you will see a transformation in the lifestyle of Jeju-do Island as well as Jeju people, when you look at 2,381 displayed items. It also plays a very important role to visitors in helping them to understand the ancient lifestyle on Jeju Island by recapturing Jeju’s traditional housing architecture, rites of passage, and regional food specialties.

The Folklore Exhibition HallⅡ exhibits diving gear used by Haenye (women divers) and farming tools used by farmers in Jeju-do. In addition, 100 items including traditional tools for daily living, ritual materials, and diverse stone structures made by volcanic rock of Jeju-do are showcased in this outdoor exhibition.

[Source from Korea Tourism Org]

I don’t know what to say about them, but they look like a special type of rock. They’re actually lava stalagmites. :)

Here is yet another diorama of the village houses found in Jeju which similar to the ones we saw earlier.

And this is the last photo that I managed to take without being noticed. It’s a display of needle case. Please don’t ask me why it is spelled as niddle. I really don’t know. :(

This was our last visited destination in Jeju Island. My next Korea tour post shall be on the Everland theme park. Many, including myself, find it more interesting than museums. But again, we learned a lot from these museums, especially on the local folks’ cultures, traditions, living lifestyles and etc. I would not have known all of these if I didn’t join this tour. In fact, it’s the knowledge that we gained which is important. When it comes to museums, I find it hard to explain or express my feelings, thoughts and experiences in words. Seriously, you’ve got to be there to feel it, learn it and experience it!



Korea & Jeju Winter Fun – Everland and Lotte World – Day 5 is up.

Tags:
, , , , ,

7 responses to “Korea & Jeju Winter Fun – Museums – Day 4”

  1. Katsura-chan says:

    I should go more often to museums or expositions. This looks very informative and i think this i very important to learn some specificity of the country you’re visiting.
    I would be ashamed to myself returning from a trip without learning anything.
    Bad nad taking photos without being allowed to ;-) … but thanks lol

  2. rockleelotus says:

    i have not been to any museums in a while. but wow thanks for sharing these pics, much knowledge to be gathered there. the displays are fantastic!

    lol very sneaky of you to snap those pics in the other museum, now we get a rare glimpse at those displays too :D

  3. Lylibellule says:

    Another post that made us learn a lot. Thanks for the time you put on those explanations. ;)

    Those diving women are remarkable and the dedicated museum is very interesting.
    All those dioramas are extremely well made. Especially the one under water and with the village reconstitution.

  4. chubbybots says:

    haha thanks to you I don’t have to go Jeju!!

    Nice detailed write up and references!! I love the dioramas :D Museums do have their part to play in documenting our history if not all will be lost! Don’t think I’ll be able to dive down the ocean like them!!

    Well looking forward to the next fun part!!

  5. softz says:

    @Katsura-chan,
    Yup, I learn more about museums partly because of my wife. She works in a museum as a conservator. After visiting several museums and see the artwork, Monalisa in The Lurve. Gosh, I know museums are normally a must see in a trip. About photography, many of the museums prohibit visitors from taking photos. The main reason is that the flash light will degrade the material especially paintings/drawings. Like the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I wasn’t allowed to take any photos too. :(

    @rockleelotus,
    The Jeju Folklore and Natural Museum is rather easy to sneak around and take photos. Unlike other museums, there weren’t many security guards on that day.

    @Lyli,
    Thank you. Talking about the sea activity, I’m amazed myself, the female divers actually dive into the deep sea without any oxygen tank. If only you could look at the introductory video, I believe you would find them amazing too.

    @chubbybots,
    Haha… My post is only a small subset of the actual Jeju. You should do a detail visit if you could as Korea tour is cheaper than Japan tour (save money for more figures and nendos and gunpla).
    Talking about that diving. I can’t even if I’ve an oxygen tank, can’t imagine diving without one.

  6. heathorn says:

    The underwater dio is so cool!
    Another nice coverage from you ^^
    Ah….Korea looks soooo nice….I heard that the food is superb, they say it’s one of the main things that attract tourists?

  7. softz says:

    @heathorn,
    I had korean food for the whole week when I was there. Yes, the taste was great, real authentic korean food. However, you must be a kimchi lover for start or else, you’d be suffering like my wife and mum. *LOL*

Leave a Reply


four + 4 =