The Yeongdeung god is an outside god who comes during the changing of the season between winter and spring. It is believed that he goes out of the island during the full moon in February through Wu-do. In the Hawumokdong of Wu-do, they also hold a massive Yeongdeung gut. The photo is by Seo Jae-chul who took the scene of the Yeongdeung sending off ceremony that was held back in 1975.
Wu-do lies on the way of the path that the Yeongdeung God takes to leave. Every February 15th of the lunar calendar, the Farewell Ceremony to bid goodbye to the Yeongdeung God is held. The Yeongdeung Gut was held at Dongcheonjindong, Seocheonjindong, and the Ha-wu Cow Herd Mokjidang. On this day, no boats were allowed to set out on the sea. They would hold a ceremony to invite the original god of the shrine to come and tell the fortune of a good or bad harvest by carrying out a 'ssideurim' (giving of the seeds to the god) which is an act of scattering millet seeds onto the sea. It also symbolizes the act of welcoming the dragon sea god. After paying their respect to the sea, they would send the boat made of straw out to sea in sending away the Yeongdeung God.
Greeting the Yowang (Dragon Sea God)
There is another ceremony which welcomes the Dragon Sea God who governs the sea as the master of the ceremony along with the Yeongdeung God. After consoling the dead souls who had died while working on the water by serving them some wine, an act called the 'Yowangjilchim' is carried out. This is a kind of entertainment banquet to greet the Yowang and prepare the way for him. They weed and tidy up the roads, dig up the road with a plow, flatten the road with their feet, remove the dirt with baskets, and build bridges. After all these things are done, they tell the fortune to confirm that the doorway for the Yowang to come has been opened up. Then, the white cotton and the bamboo branches which had symbolized the Yowang's path are set afire.
Jideurim (Giving the 'ji', a tribute)
After the haenyeos hold a group ceremony or an individual ceremony such as the Yeongdeung Gut or the Jamsu Gut, they make a 'ji' of their own accord. The 'ji' is a tribute to the sea made out of the small portions of rice, cooked rice and eggs that had been used in the ceremony into sizes of small fists wrapped up in paper.
The jideurim is an act of actually throwing the jis that they have specially made into the sea of the Yowang God to pray for the safety and health of their dead ancestors, family members and the hanyeos themselves.
The Baebangseon Process
The Yeongdeung God is sent away on a straw boat full of tributes to the god along with the welcoming of the Yowang and ssideurim to tell the fortune of a good or a bad harvest. During the ceremony of sending off the god, a straw boat about 1m long is woven together. The prepared tributes are put on the boat and sent off on the sea. This process is called the 'baebangseon'.
The Initial Ceremony at the Jamsugut of Kimnyeong-ri (Exorcism Rite)
All the cost to carry out the ceremony or the necessary materials for the rite is paid for by the 'Jamsu Association' which is the women diver's association. This is a gut to pray for the safety during their work and for a plentiful catch. The date of the ceremony is March 8th of the lunar calendar and the main shaman is Seo Soon-sil.