Calls of the sea: Haenyeo Sumbisori
The sea is almost like a field to the haenyeos. The haenyeos know where a certain rock is and where the conches are and where there are plenty of abalones once they go into the sea. The diving work by haenyeos are carried out in groups and during the spawning season, there is a ban on catching anything. There is also strict regulations as to where certain haenyeos from specific regions can go into which area of the sea.
After the 1980's, before there were any cultivated seaweed, the work to collect and dry the seaweed within the haenyeo society was regarded as the most important job. Jeju's women and all family members went out to the sea and collected the seaweed. They collected mounds and mounds of seaweed during this time.
The Gaettakie (Cleaning of the Fishing Grounds)
The sea is just like another field for the hanyeos. When the hanyeos go into the sea, there are rocks and fishing grounds. They know by heart where there are plentiful number of abalones. The daughters inherit this knowledge from their mothers and eventually become superior hanyeos themselves. The village's fishing grounds are their own property so they carry out the cleaning of the fishing grounds by removing the 'badangpul' (sea grass) which are considered to be weeds. The cleaning of the fishing ground is carried out 2, 3 times a year and is called 'gaettakie'. It is one of the biggest responsibilities given to the members of the Hanyeos' Association.
Individual diving where they caught conches, abalones, sea slugs, and sea urchins took a break during the summer spawning period.
Other seaweed was collected from April to May. Gamtae (Kind of seaweed, Latin name: Ecklonia cava) is collected from July to August, tot is collected from the last day of February until the end of April. In addition, cheoncho is collected from the middle of March to the end of June, cheongak (sea staghorn) is collected from July to August, abalones and conches are caught from October to June, sea urchins are caught from May to July and finally sea slugs are caught during the winter season.
The work with cheoncho and tot were carried out as a group project and sold as a community property. Regardless of the amount completed by an individual, they carried out the work together for a specific period of time, dried it and sold it. After getting rid of all moisture, they left in the storage space and sold it on the sale date in sacks of 30 kilos and 60 kilos.
Family members helping haenyeo prepare agar
Sea urchins were creatures that lived at the bottom of the sea and were feed to a variety of shellfish. It was cut with a small knife and its yellowish eggs were picked out and washed. The 'boraseonggae' (purple sea urchins) was usually captured during the barley season and so was also known as boriseonggae'. The eggs that had been extracted from the sea urchin is called 'eundan'.