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“Korean Shamanism” Evolving toward a New Religion in the U.S.

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1. Korean Shamanism Evolving toward a New Religion in the U.S. 2. My research * Duration: from 2004 to 2011 * Location: In the East Coast of the U.S. * Main shaman informants: a female shaman (mid 50s), two male shamans (early 60s) and about twenty clients 3. Function of the diasporic shamanic practice * a culturally alternative remedial mechanism * mediating between the culturally attributed power of spirits and the currently othered life of the Korean diaspora 4. Korean Diasporic Shamans * as an insignificant presence, if not totally negative, within the substantially evangelized Protestant community since the earliest migration history in the U.S 5. Function of the Protestant church * provides the heart of Korean life in the U.S. * itself represents a holistic web of cultural, spiritual, psychological, and physical resources * helps to support the Korean diaspora within varied contextual challenges 6. Korean Diasporic Shamanic Practice * thus, culturally deviant and communally isolated * yet find ways to fill the little space for alternative practice (Sorrensen 1989, 163) * continuing to reinvent the collectively conventional homeland ethos in the life of Korean diaspora. 7. Change in the Diasporic Context * by the feature of shamans individualization * by a virtue in effective quickness in the ritual 8. Ritual Change * to reduced forms of summary ritual from the lengthy, time consuming ritual * to casual clothing from the colorful representations of shamanic costumes * to less entertainments from human drama 9. Newness * from Subjectivization of shamanic choices * as a symbolic reaction as part of cultural negotiation with the non-traditional, local spirits of the foreign country by way of the recognition of a new deity and invitation the pantheon of Korean diasporic shamanism * a corollary process to de-institutionalization, according to James Davison Hunter (1983, 12) 10. Newness * the display of American national flag on the altar 11. Newness * the U.S. local san-shin (the mountain deity) 12. Newness * a Buddhist-shamanic effervescence producing a buddhist-shamanic congregation * as an example of subjectivization * influenced by the shamans previous Buddhist career and personal relationship 13. Conclusion * present Korean diasporic shamanism malleable between the traditional forms of practice and the potential for change * the shamanic subjectivization and the virtue of quickness as the most variable factors while learning to respond differently to the question as to how to Americanize ones own Koreanized practice of diasporic shamanism