Korean totem poles

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jangseung.jpg

While at the Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro, I saw these two wooden figures that had written on them 天下大將軍 and 地下女將軍. (They also look like they've seen better days.) I was puzzled, took a picture, and now have looked them up on the internet.

Apparently these are called jangseung 장승, and traditionally they're placed outside villages to ward off demons, etc. There's even a 184-page photo book of them, called Changsŭng, Village Guardian God of Korea (1993, Hwang Hŏn-man 黃憲萬).

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This page contains a single entry by dom published on June 10, 2009 1:27 AM.

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