Jeju Provincial Self-governing Haenyeo Museum

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, South Korea

Haenyeo (women divers) only exist in Jeju Island and Japan. They are also called “jamnyeo,” and both terms refer to women who gather seaweed, abalone, or other shellfish from the sea. Because of the very uniqueness of this diving profession, they have been the focus of much attention from around the world. Haenyeo are the symbol of Jeju women as they were the bulwark of Jeju’s economy, going on long expeditions to Japan as well as other parts of Korea. A strong tenacious hold on life and pioneering spirit is characteristic of the haenyeo. It is believed that fishermen harvested abalone during the Joseon dynasty. In a Jeju topography written by Lee Gun in 1629, it is recorded that haenyeo harvested abalone. Further record of haenyeo is found in bibliographic data such as the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, Jiyoungrok written by Lee Ik Tae, and Jonjaejeonseo by We Baek Gue. Jeju's haenyeo also had a significant role in leading the anti-Japanese movement, fighting for their rights against Japanese exploitation as one of the largest such movements nationwide. It is our sincerest hope to build a museum on this historic site and develop a 21st Century cultural arts mecca so that we can pass on and preserve Jeju’s haenyeo culture, which has been acknowledged as a world heritage asset.

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Jeju Provincial Self-governing Haenyeo Museum26 Haenyeobakmulgwangil
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
South Korea
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