Nov 5, 2008

Women Divers in Jeju Island

Have you heard about women divers? They are only found in Korea and Japan. Women divers are symbols of Jeju Island. But they are dramatically decreasing. Jeju women divers have peaceful smile on their wrinkled face. It makes them friendlier like our grandmothers. They make sounds like “Ho~oi! Ho~oi”. It’s ‘Sumbisori’. Sumbisori means the sound of a long exhale after submersing themselves at the bottom of the ocean and catching marine products. Isn’t it miraculous? ^.^

The woman who dives for a living and catching marine products holds their breath for about 2 minutes at the depth of approximately over 10m below sea level. Most of the woman divers engaged at this kind of job since the age of 12 to 14 year old. Now, there are about 5600 woman divers in Jeju.

It’s a rare job in Korea. But unfortunately due to unfavorable situations, woman divers are decreasing in number. I recommend tourists to see woman divers as they set foot in Jeju Island. It will be good opportunity, witnessing one of Korea’s cultural heritages.

There is Seongsan ilchulbong, Jeju, UNESCO’s world natural heritage. If you go there you can watch Jeju women diver’s performance! The performance starts at 1:30PM and 3:00PM. You have to check schedules first before you go. Watch how they dive and gather seafoods and marine products, you can also buy them. It’s really fresh! The best thing that I can recommend is to take pictures with women divers. It’s a great way to capture and preserve the moments.

Oh, one thing I want to tell you is this to, “show respect them and clap loudly!” Most of the women divers are elder person. I think it’s important to boost their confidence. (It’s my own opinion.^^)

Listen carefully as they get out of the water. They make the sumbisori. It’s symbol of jeju women divers.


Anonymous said...

tough job! I wonder how big their lungs are!

Vicki said...

yeah.. 2 minutes in water. Do they have fins?