Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jeju Guide: Gates of Jeju

There are three things that, legend has it, don't exist on Jeju; thieves, beggars and gates. They say that Jeju was traditionally such a hard place to survive that everyone worked together for the common good that thieves and beggars were non-existent. And, of course, if there are no thieves or beggars, there's hardly reason do have a gate to keep people out, right? And Jeju's gates are quite unique and meaningful, so I thought they deserved a post of their own. You may have noticed already that the distinguishing feature of the Jeju gate are the three poles which cross the entryway. They are hardly going to stop someone from entering, but as there are no thieves that would never be a problem, of course.

When all three poles are removed from their vertical position, it means that the owner is home and all are welcome to enter.


When one pole is laid across as such, it means that the owner has stepped out, but is in the area and will be home soon.

Two poles across the entry way mean that the owner has gone and won't be back for a few hours, but should be back before the end of the day.

Finally, three poles across means that the owner has left town or doesn't expect to be home for a few days. This one seems to me to be a flag saying "rob me!", kind of like those people on Facebook who get their homes robbed after saying "I'll be gone for the next 5 hours" while posting their address on their profile. But, of course, there aren't any thieves in Jeju so I guess it's never been an issue for them.

These lovely photos were taken in Songup Minsokmaul 성읍 민속마을. I will post more on this village soon. I'm finally coming to the end of my adventures in Jeju, there's only a few posts left to write!

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