Astounding Sacred "Horse-Ears" Mountain
of Jinan County; Provincial Park of North Jeolla Province
Jeonbuk Province's Jin-an County Ma-i-san (전북 진안 마이산 in Korean) is one of the best-known
mountains in South Korea, held extremely sacred due to it's spectacular topography, its history and
the two great temples sited between the two sharp peaks. Due to their similar triangular shapes,
although one is clearly being slightly larger than the other, they were popularly named the "Horse’s
Ears Mountains" -- and they are also known by several other religious or myth-based appellations.
The Dong-bong or East Peak (678m) is considered Male and is therefore called Sut-mai-san in the
vernacular, while the Seo-bong or West Peak (686m) is correspondingly called Am-mai-san. These
have long been a focus of Shamanic practices, thought to have a very high level of ji-gi Earth-energy
and mystical powers that can benefit those who worship or practice yogas here.
(see also my book, pages 167-169, and http://www.koreasanha.net/san/mai.htm)
The strangest looking
peaks in all Korea,
thrusting up as mighty
Earth-spirits, out in a
fairly flat farming region.
Seen here from the
south (left) and the
north (right) in 1999.
Made of rough, pitted
volcanic stone. Long
a very sacred place;
now a Provincial Park.
Temples and Sacred Features of Ma-i-san:
Gusan-seowon, Yeongsan-seowon and Yeonggye-seowon
Fortress, Caves and Great Trees
|My photo from the first time I ever saw it, in amazement, in early May of 1989
|Early on an May 1989 morning, with my brown subcompact car -- in those days I used to drive to the next mountain
at night, sleep in the back of my car, then get up the next day to explore... This was one of my best trips.
|Long-range views of it, by my friend Roger Sheperd as he was trekking the Geumnam-Honam-Jeongmaek Range in 2009.
|fantasia in silver -- Mai-san in deep winter