The dolhareubang is one of the representative figureheads and images of Jeju Island around the world. For this post we’re going to give a very brief introduction to him.
It usually has prominent round eyes, pursed lips, and a head with a hat on top. It leans forward a little in a bent manner with two hands clenched around the belly.
As the dolhareubang is made of basalt there are many small holes in the stone.
In times past pregnant women rubbed the nose in hope of having a son.
The dolhareubang means a grandfather made of stone and gained its official title in 1971 when it was designated Jeju Folk Cultural Asset No. 2.
Similar figures on the mainland, like the jangseung, don’t have hands while the stone grandfather always keeps his on his chest or stomach.
There is no beard or mustache too. You cannot see any teeth.
Each village has a slightly different stone grandfather shape or name. The one we know is from Jeju-si with a solemn expression.
It is considered a guardian angel of sorts and has now become the symbol of the island.