The biggest island in Korea, Jeju, has a very unique culture.
In fact it used to be called by a different name and was even its own country long ago.
Just like Korea has its own creation legends, so too does Tamnaguk.
In this post I shall introduce the three gods who were born underground and setup Tamnaguk.
Samseonghyeol, in the middle of Jeju City, is the place where the gods emerged with different family names some 4,300 years ago.
Out came Go Eul-na, Yang Eul-na, and Bu Eul-na.
At first they only hunted with no farming, but later after marrying three princesses from Byeokrangguk, cows, horses, and seeds for crops arrived.
From that time onwards Tamna developed into the Jeju Island we know today.
The holes themselves are surrounded by old trees with branches hanging straight out which appear to be bowing.
Even with lots of rain or snow no damage occurs. Visitors are amazed with that.
You can’t get close either.
A tinge of mystique fills the air.
Yet around the mystique a leafy wooded walk awaits with other places to investigate.
First we have a video and exhibition hall which uses animation spread over 15 minutes for the story. Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese languages are provided for.
There is also a model of where the three gods came from along with the location they greeted the three princesses.
In Samseongcheon, which is through the gate in the photo below, the ancestral rites honoring the gods and their wives occurs.
With Samseonghyeol being right in the city it is an easy and must visit place even with kids to understand the mythical origins or Tamnaguk. Sorry, I mean Jeju.
Address: Jeju-si, 22, Samseong-ro
Telephone Number: +82-64-722-3315
Admission Fee: Adults 2,500 won | Youth 1,700 won | Children 1,000 won
Opening Hours: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. in summer and 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. in winter
Web Site: http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1047691 (English) | http://www.samsunghyeol.or.kr/ (Korean)
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