Category Archives: Pujok & Healers

Women, culture and healing

Why are most Asian babies born with a birthmark that looks like a bruise at the base of the spine? Doctors and traditional midwives usually have different explanations for this “Mongolian spot.” According to medical experts, abuse has nothing to do with it. The bluish-grey blotch is merely a genetic gift from the parents and […]

If Cowry Shells Could Predict the Future

The weeks surrounding New Year’s Day are prime time for the world’s fortune-tellers. While many people have resolutions, others are looking for help on important decisions ahead about health, marriages and jobs. Fortune-tellers are natural allies. They listen patiently as clients mull over last year’s disappointments and express their fears about what lies ahead. For […]

My Life with Shamans

Although shamanism shaped Korean culture for centuries, it is rarely mentioned in Korean dynastic records. Extraordinarily resilient, it survived persecution during the l970’s as well as rapid industrialization, partly because it was embedded in family rituals and community life. Unraveling its mysteries was my anthropological passion because I believed it was a key to understanding […]