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Kaksi Sonnim, The Smallpox Goddess

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Chapter Summary

According to shamanist myths in the Korean mainland and Cheju Island, the creation God separated the sky and the earth, split the sun and moon to create stars, and separated living spirits from ghosts. This chapter narrates a myth about Kaksi Sonnim, The smallpox Goddess. 'Sonnim, leave my granddaughter alone. Let Ch'ŏlhyŏn, the only son of the Kim Changja family, whom I nursed for fifteen years, have the smallpox with a fast recovery. He is fifteen and has not yet had smallpox'. The Sonnim were moved by her unselfishness and said, 'Your heart is pure. Go see if Kim Changja will agree to this'. For the next three years, the three Sonnim went to all the children in the countryside with the gift of smallpox. The three Sonnim delivered good health and long life along with luck and prosperity.

Keywords: Ch'ŏlhyŏn; Kaksi Sonnim; Kim Changja; shamanist myths; smallpox Goddess



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