Korean Shaman to Perform Ceremony for Community Harmony on Anniversary of Los Angeles Riots

April 21, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On April 21, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that one of South Korea's most famous shamans, Kim Kumhwa,...travels the world with a group of performers to re-create selected rituals known as kut (pronounced coot)... [These] rituals are part of the country's folk religion and central to its music and dance traditions... Kim was initiated at the age of 17 into her role as a mudang, or shaman, by her grandmother, also a mudang. Her path to shamanism began, she says, when she was 11 and came down with a serious illness that she says 'turned out to be a form of possession... My body only started to improve when I began to recognize that maybe I was being called to be a shaman,' she says... Next Sunday, she and 11 other shamans and performers will arrive at L.A.'s Lafayette Park for a ceremony meant to promote community harmony and reconciliation in observance of the 10th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots."