S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Religious Studies (종교학과) 종교와 문화(Religion and Culture) 종교와 문화(Religion and Culture) 30/31호(2016)
Folk Religion of Gamak Mountain
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 종교문제연구소
- 종교와 문화, Vol.31, pp. 1-49
- 민속종교; 감악산; 감악사; 설인귀; 빗돌대왕; Folk Religion; Gamak Mountain; Gamaksa; Seolingui; Bitdoldaewang
- This article aims to understand the folk religion of Gamak mountain as a sacred place based on historical texts and field survey data. Gamak mountain has been a ritualistic hub, which transcended era, class, and religious tradition: from ancient times to the present day, from royal family to common people, from institutional religion to noninstitutional belief. The religiosity of Gamak mountain was concentrated on Gamaksa shrine(紺岳祠), Seolingui shrine(薛仁貴堂), and the Gamak Monument(紺岳山碑), which were located at the top of the mountain. They were represented respectively as divine beings such as Gamak mountain god(紺岳山神), god of general Seolingui(薛仁貴將軍), and Bitdoldaewang(bitdol means monumental stone, daewang means great king). Gamak mountain god was enshrined in Gamaksa. The state official rituals for the mountains and rivers were regularly held in Gamaksa. Gamak mountain god was reputed for his ability to fulfill the wishes of precipitation and healing, so that many rituals of affliction were also irregularly held in Gamaksa. Moreover, despite being harshly criticized as an improper ritual(淫祀), the praying events of local populace were also ardently continued. Even though Gamaksa no longer exists today, the religious beliefs and rituals of Gamak mountain god still have devout followers in many Shamanic shrines at the foot of the Gamak mountain and in Sanshingak, the shrine of the mountain god in the Buddhist temple alongside the mountain. There was a shrine dedicated to general Seolingui next to Gamaksa shrine, which was located at the top of Gamak mountain. There was only one shrine originally. However, during the reign of King Sejong, another ritual place, Gamaksa was established to hold only state official Confucian rituals. Then Seolingui shrine was officially regarded as a shrine for improper ritual. Seolingui was a general in the Chinese Tang dynasty. Even though Seolingui was an enemy commander, local people identified him with the Gamak mountain god and accepted him enthusiastically as the true patron of Gamak area. Both Gamaksa and Seolingui shrine are gone today, and only the Gamak Monument remains. Although there is no historical evidence that proves the interrelationship between this Monument and Seolingui, the local people look upon the Monument as a memorial stone of Seolingui. Finally the Gamak Monument is recognized as a representation of general Seolingui. That is why Seolingui, who was equated with the Gamak mountain god, is called `Bitdoldaewang`, the great king of the monument. Gamak mountain god, general Seolingui, and Bitdoldaewang, which are almost identical in symbolic associative structure, continue to be worshipped coming down from the mountain top today.