July 9, 2007


Jeju is known for its great mandarin oranges, fantastic seafood, and most of all its harubang, or ancient statues. The harubang is a cheerful little man which is traditionally carved out of volcanic rock. Each stature is typically above three feet high, and wears a wide brimmed island style hat. They are known for their large eyes and the fact that they hold their hands on their plump tummies, one just slightly above the other.

The original purpose of these welcoming friends is uncertain. Some say that they were placed around the island as protection. Others speculate that they hold religious significance, while still other theories claim them as fertility gods or simply physical landmarks used for points of reference. No matter what the original purpose was Koreans today believe that if you hold the nose and make a wish, that wish will come true.

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