What is Jinogui-gut?

Jinogui-gut, also known as ogu-gut or jinogui, is a shamanic rite to comfort the spirit of a deceased person and wish for her rebirth in the Pure Land.
The word jinogui originally came from the Chinese character term, ji-no-gui, which is directly translated as “helping the dead person to find the way to the underworld.” As its etymology shows, the shamanic rite is believed to help the deceased to safely reach the world of the dead. It is also a spiritual ceremony to cut the worldly bonds the deceased person had during her lifetime. Another important purpose of the ritual is to comfort the family and friends left behind and wish for their well-being and prosperity.
Traditionally, when a person dies, the bereaved family performed no rites other than jinogui-gut, because, in a traditional Korean belief, the dead person’s spirit could take away the bereaved family’s property within three years after her death.
Modernly, different forms of shamanic rites are performed depending on the timing of the death. For example, soowang-gut is performed when the bereaved family would want to pray for the deceased who passed away two or three years ago. Similarly, gyeop-gut is performed when the descendants pray for the well-being of the spirits of their ancestors who passed away long time ago.
In a traditional shamanic culture of Korea, a gut (shamanic ritual) is widely understood as a form of communication: a spiritual dialogue between the dead and the bereaved. The shaman officiates the ceremony where the dead and the bereaved face each other spiritually.
In essence, both are the beneficiaries of the shamanic rite; the soul is saved while the mind is healed.

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