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Tol-Harubang

by Scott Baldwin
Tol-Harubang

Stone Grandfather: Tol-Harubang are large phallic statues found on Jeju Island at the southern tip of South Korea. The name 'Stone Grandfather' was coined in the 1940's or 50's as a reference to their obvious masculine shape. The once-official name for them was 'Beoksumeori'. Traditionally, Tol-Harubang are gods offering both protection and fertility. These ancient statues were placed outside of gates for protection against evil spirits. Even today they are thought of as potent sources of fertility. Small replicas of Tol-Harubangs are sometimes given to women with fertility problems.

Their origin is not known for sure, however, there are two main theories about them. The first is that sea-faring peoples introduced them. The second theory is that they are a counterpart to the Korean Peninsula's tradition of totem poles. Korean totem poles are called 'Beoksu', The original name for the Tol-Harubang was 'Beoksu-Meori', or Totem Heads.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Dolhareubang
    Beoksumeori
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