Kim, Chongho

1 min read

Kim, Chongho (1954– ) – Korean scholar whose doctoral research at the University of New South Wales, Australia, entailed fieldwork among Korean shamans, their clients, and wider society. In contrast with Laurel Kendall’s interest in shamans’ perspectives and her desire to study a gendered phenomenon, Kim was intrigued by the paradox of the persistence of the marginalized and somewhat covert practice of shamanism and its role in Korean society. Even the reactions of his own family to his researching shamanism provide evidence of the ambiguity of the tradition: even relatives who admit to having paid for a kut, ritual, evidenced embarrassment that Kim was researching the topic. He also illustrates the paradox by referring to the fact that Kendall was researching and writing at the same time as another scholar, Clark Sorensen, who was also interested in Korean peasants and industrialization but never mentions spirits or shamans. Kim is explicit that the difference between the books of Kendall and Sorensen is not surprising, because they focus on two sides of a Korean “cultural discrepancy” between the “ordinary world” (Sorensen) and the “field of misfortune” (Kendall). Kim’s own work is concerned with the fault line between those two coexisting but antagonistic worlds in Korean culture.


Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007


Previous Story

Kharitidi, Olga

Next Story

King, Serge Kahili

Latest from Blog

Eugène Deloncle

Eugène Deloncle was a French businessman and far-right political activist who lived from 1890 to 1944.…


Thixo is a creator god in Xhosa mythology. In Xhosa culture, Thixo is considered the highest…


In Tuareg mythology, Aziza are protective spirits or genies that are believed to inhabit natural features…


Irikuden is a legendary hero in Tuareg mythology, who is revered as a symbol of strength,…

Tin Hinan

Tin Hinan is a legendary figure in Tuareg mythology, who is considered the mother of the…