Dol hareubangs – Cheju Do island stone grandfathers
A pearl of South Korea, Jeju, or Cheju Do is the most beautiful island of all East Asia. Also, people know it as the island of three abundances: stones, wind and women. And what is most important here is stones, because the whole island consists of stone. The inhabitants came up with an original application for it: house fences, gravestones, coastal traps. According to the results of the international competition, held in late 2011, Jeju Island entered the seven new natural wonders. Strictly speaking, the island is an extinct volcano. Once poured from the crater lava, now, becoming a basalt, it serves material for the sculptors and artists of applied art. Carved from it stone idols, grandfathers became symbols of Jeju Island and accordingly, tourist destination.
The characteristic feature of the appearance of such statues is a common facial expression, similar to a grin, large bulging eyes without pupils, a large and flat nose, and closed smiling mouth. Also, a relaxed state of hands below the face, one above the other. The entire upper part of the Hareubang crowns the mushroom-like cap. The word “hareubang” (“Dol hareubang”) from the dialect spoken by the inhabitants of Jeju Island can be translated as “stone grandfather”.
Traditionally, in ancient times, the local people placed such statues at the entrance to towns and villages, as amulets. Now they still remind of the past time, and in a smaller size can be bought in souvenir shops.
Hareubangs are pillar-shaped figures with humanoid faces carved from basalt; their height can vary from 103 to 266 cm.
The main source of prosperity of Jeju – tourism. It is very popular not only among foreigners, but also among Koreans themselves, both young and aged. There is a well-developed hotel system here.
Jeju is popular among the newlyweds, thanks to some places specifically created for them. In particular, the Love Land park – there are about 140 sculptures, frozen in unambiguous poses. But if you prefer classical tourist places, welcome to the traditional Korean village. And the most interesting object on the island is Mount Hallasan, this is the highest point (1950 meters) on Jeju and the best place to take a picture of the dawn.
Cheju Do island stone grandfathers
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