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Jeju Haenyeo
June 5, 2015
by David Alan Harvey
Jeju Haenyeo - Heroines of the Sea, Women Divers on Jeju Island

"Jeju is surrounded by sea and Hallasan volcano is located at its center: it is an island and a mountain, at the same time. Villages exist along its mountain ranges, on its grassland, and around barren farmland. Historically, the people of Jeju saw the sea as fearful, dangerous, and fraught - something that made life difficult. Men were reluctant to take on any work that involved interaction with the raging sea. But for the women, in particular for those who lived in coastal villages, this fear had to be overcome: they were expected to dive into those treacherous waters for a living."
from the essay by Kil-un Hyun

“I stayed in Jeju for about a month and continued to be inspired by haenyeo every day. I want to give a very special and humble thank you to all haenyeo who made me feel at home. I came to admire their resilience, free spirit, sense of humor, and warmth. These women divers showed me a whole new world. Bobbing around out there in the frigid Pacific on their little foam floats and then kicking down without oxygen tanks to pick up a few abalones off the ocean floor was simply something to witness. I was so honored to be in their presence.”
David Alan Harvey

Format: Hardcover
Size: 25 x 25 cm
Pages: 156
Publisher: Jeju Arts Council, 2015