Altaic culture in Korea



The Koreans seem share many aspects of folklore culture with the Altaic speakig Manchu Tungusic, the Mongolic Buryats, and many other Siberian peoples. Altaic connection to Korean is not only cultural, but also genetic (genetic links to Altaic speaking peoples).[1]

Bird Totem poles



Called Sot' dae or spelled Sotdae is wooden bird poles and is usually erected near the entrance of a village to ward off evil spirits as well as to represent villagers' wishes for prosperity and well-being. The wooden bird poles acted as a messenger between the physical world and the realm of the spirits[2] . Other then the Koreans other Altaic cultures have the same custom.
Bird Poles in Altaic Culture
People
Altaic Language Branch
Where they live
Picture
Name
Koreans
Korean
North and South Korea
Picture
Sot'dae
Buryats
Mongolic (Mongolian)
In Buryat, Russia.
Picture

Evenki (Ewenki)
Manchu Tungusic
In northern China (Manchuria) and Siberia, Russia.
Picture

Nanais
Manchu Tungusic
In northern China (Manchuria) and Siberia, Russia
Picture

Yakut Sakha
Turkic
Yakutia, Russia



Guardian Totem poles



Like the Sot' dae the Korean chanseung (Totem poles) was put near the entrance of a village. People would think they would frighten evil spirits. Pole like this can be seen in Tungusic, Buryat, and Yakut Sakha. The Chuvash have a slightly differant kind called a Kiremet which is more like an idol.
Guardian and Totem Poles in Altaic Culture
People
Altaic Language Branch
Where they live
Picture
Name
Koreans
Korean
North and South Korea

Jangseung
Buryats
Mongolic (Mongolian)
In Buryat, Russia.


Evenki (Ewenki)
Manchu Tungusic
In northern China (Manchuria) and Siberia, Russia.


Yakut Sakha
Turkic
Yakutia, Russia


Chuvash
Turkic
Chuvashia, Russia

Kiremet

Shamanism Trees



Photo_by_Parhessiastes_under_Attribution-Share_Alike.jpg
Shmanism Tree in Korea Credits: Photo by Parhessiastes and is under Attribution Share Alike License


Tying colorful ribbons or paper and making a wish or a prayer is very widespread in Altaic culture. It has its roots in Siberian shamanism.

An article all about sacred trees in Turkic culture:

http://www.tcoletribalrugs.com/article11trees.html
Shamanism Trees in Altaic Culture
People
Altaic Language Branch
Where they live
Picture
Name
Koreans
Korean
North and South Korea
Above

Japanese
Japonic
Japan


Buryats
Mongolic (Mongolian)
In Buryat, Russia.


Mongolians
Mongolic (Mongolian)
Mongolia, China (Inner Mongolia).


Kalmyks
Mongolic (Mongolian)
Russia


Turks of Turkey
Turkic
Turkey


Yakut Sakha
Turkic
Yakutia, Russia


Turkmens
Turkic
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan


Kazakh
Turkic
Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China


Kyrgyz
Turkic
Kyrgyzstan, China



Bashkir
Turkic
Russia


Tuvans
Turkic
Tuva, Russia



Wishing ribbons



This tradition is about the same as the shamanism tree but has the ribbons or paper tied to something other then a tree. Widely seen in Siberian culture.

Another_picture_by_Hojusaram_attribution-share_alike_3.0.jpg

Wishing Ribbons in Altaic Culture
People
Altaic Language Branch
Where they live
Picture
Name
Koreans
Korean
North and South Korea
Above

Japanese
Japonic
Japan

Omikuji
Evenki
Manchu Tungus
Russia and northern China


Manchurians
Manchu Tungus
Manchuria (Northern China)


Yakut Sakha
Turkic
Yakutia, Russia



Altaic style wrestling



"Ssireum (also called Sirum, Korean : 씨름) is a Korean wrestling style and is the a traditional national sport of Korea. In the modern form each contestant wears a belt that wraps around the waist and the thigh. The competition employs a series of techniques, which inflict little harm or injury to the opponent: opponents lock on to each other's belt, and one achieves victory by bringing any part of the opponent's body above the knee to the ground. " Quoted from Wikipedia
Also almost every Altaic peoples have a wrestling tradition. In Mongolia it is known as one of the "three manly sports".
Altaic Style Wrestling
People
Altaic Language Branch
Where they live
Picture
Name
Koreans
Korean
North and South Korea

Ssireum (Sirum)
Japanese
Japonic
Japan

Judo and Sumo
Buryats
Mongolic (Mongolian)
In Buryat, Russia.


Mongolians
Mongolic (Mongolian)
Mongolia, China (Inner Mongolia).

Bo"kh
Turks of Turkey
Turkic
Turkey

Yag(lı gu"res,
Yakut Sakha
Turkic
Yakutia, Russia


Turkmens
Turkic
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan

Go"res,
Tuvans
Turkic
Tuva, Russia

Khuresh
Tatar
Turkic
Tatarstan Russia and Eastern Europe

Kuresh

Goguryeo_Sirum.jpg
Ssireum or Sirum (Korean, Goguryeo, 5th century)

Gok_Turk_Koras.jpg
Köräş or Kuresh (Turks, Gok Turk, 7th century)

Sirum_by_Kim_Hongdo.jpg
Ssireum or Sirum, Korean, Joseon, 18th century)


Stone Mounds



Like many other Altaic speaking peoples, Koreans would place a stone on the mound then say a prayer and make a wish. This can be found in Central Asia, Mongolia and Siberia.
Stone mounds in Altaic culture
People
Altaic Language Branch
Where they live
Picture
Name
Koreans
Korean
North and South Korea


Mongolian
Mongolic (Mongolian)
Mongolia and Inner Mongolia (China)

ovoos
Tuvan
Turkic
Tuva Russia, Mongolia, and a few in China

ovaas
Buryats
Mongolic (Mongolian)
In Buryat, Russia.

ovoos

Headdresses



The royal crowns are a uniquely Korean product and show little Chinese influence. The tree motif of the crown is commonly believed to represent the idea of the world tree which was an important symbols of Siberian, Manchu Tungusic, Turkic , and Mongolian shamanism. However, some believe that the trident-like protrusions symbolize mountains or even birds (Which also can be seem in Siberia). Additionally, the antler-like prongs also indicate a strong connection to Korean shamanism or the importance of the reindeer (Reindeer are a favorite animal of the Tungusic peoples.

Korean royal crowns from Shilla kingdom:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Sillacrown.jpg

Traditional Dress



The red dot tradition shared by Korean and Mongolic peoples.

526168075_2c22593558_m.jpg
Both Koreans and Mongolians have a costom of putting red dots on their cheeks.


From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanbok
Origin of Hanbok traces to a widely used style of nomadic clothing in the Scytho-Siberian cultural sphere of northern Asia in ancient times.[11][12] The earliest evidence of this common style of northern Asia can be found in the Xiongnu burial site of Noin Ula in northern Mongolia,[13] and earliest evidence of hanbok's basic design features can be traced to ancient wall murals of Goguryeo.[14]
Reflecting its nomadic origins in northern Asia, hanbok was designed to facilitate ease of movement and also incorporated many shamanistic motifs. From this time, the basic structure of hanbok, namely the jeogori jacket, baji pants, and the chima skirt, was established. Short, tight trousers and tight, waist-length jackets were worn by both men and women during the early years of the Three Kingdoms of Korea period. The basic structure and these basic design features of hanbok remains relatively unchanged to this day.[15]
Toward the end of the Three Kingdoms period, noblewomen began to wear full-length skirts and hip-length jackets belted at the waist and noblemen began to wear roomy trousers bound in at the ankles and a narrow, tunic-style jacket cuffed at the wrists and belted at the waist.
Although most foreign influence on Hanbok didn't last or was superficial, Mongolian clothing is an exception as the only foreign influence that made significant visible changes to Hanbok. After Goryeo Dynasty (918--1392) signed peace treaty with the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century, Mongolian princesses who married into Korean royal house brought with them Mongolian fashion which began to prevail in both formal and private life.[12][16][17] As a result of this influence, the chima skirt was shortened, and jeogori was hiked up above the waist and tied at the chest with a long, wide ribbon, the goruem (instead of being belted) and the sleeves were curved slightly. Cultural exchange was not one way however. Goryeo had significant cultural influence on the Mongol court of Yuan Dynasty, the most visible of which was adoption of women's hanbok by the aristocrats, queens and concubines of the Mongol court.[18][19][20]

Round Dance



This might not be an Altaic link but it could be. Many Siberian Altaic speaking peoples do round dances. The Korean one is called Ganggangsullae which is an old Korean dance that was first used to bring about a bountiful harvest and has developed into a cultural symbol for Korea. Buryats do the round dance to describe the suns orbit. [2]


Altaic Branch
People
Altaic Language Branch
Where they live
Video
Name
Korean
Korean
North and South Korea
Above
Ganggangsullae
Buryat
Mongolic
Buryatia Russia, Mongolia, and China
Video
Yoohor
Evenki (Ewenki)
Manchu-Tungusic
Siberia Russia and China (Manchuria)
Video
Choro
Yakut Sakha
Turkic
Yakutia Russia
Video
Osoyochay

Archery



Another Altaic root in Korean culture is archery. Just like many Altaic peoples the Koreans do horseback archery. [3] The Koreans use a bow which is common in Altaic culture. Picture of bow

Other Altaic people who have this archery tradition rich in their culture are Mongolians, Turkic peoples, and Tungusic peoples.

Photo_by_Eatswords_(Dana)_under_the_Attribution-Noncommercial-No_Derivative_Works.jpg

Making bow:
A Korean bow is made of a horn of a baffolow and bamboo. Bamboo is glued togather with a horn, and bend to the opposite direction to maximize the reflexing power.


Shooting using the thumb.

Language


Korean language is classified as Altaic language group. Because Northeast Asian languages has less common vocabulary than European languages. However, majority linguists agree to Korean as Altaic language. Language usually includes a lot of borrowed words from foreign countries. In order to exclude the influence of borrowed words, deep langauge structure such as syntactic structure, pronunciation set, and native vocabulary counting numbers are often used to see proximity of relative languages. Korean language is SOV (Subject+Object+Verb) and agglutinative language which is common to all Altaic languages. Proto-Korean vocabulary for numers shows similarity to Proto-Altaic language.

number
Proto-Altaic
Proto-Korean
1
/sona/
/hanah/
2
/tybu/
/tu:/, /tu:rh/
3
/sejra/
/se:i(h)/
4
/to:jV/

5
/tu/
/ta/
6
/nu/

7
/nadi/
/nir-(kup)/
8
/dza/
/je-t-/

Other Links



Horse riding culture in Korea


References

  1. ^ Miller, Roy Andrew, "Languages and History : Japanese, Korean and Altaic
  2. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotdae


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