Jeju Islandis known for its beautiful landscape and tropical temperatures. As one of the new 7 wonders of nature, the island lives up to its hype. Housing beautiful coastline beaches, natural waterfalls, incredible lava tubes, and a 224-kilometer semi-tropical national park, Jeju Island is a sight to behold and must-to-go destination.
While many of us simply know Jeju for its natural beauty, not many of us know about the rich history and culture of the island, and the iconic women that shaped it into the great province we know today.
Haenyeo divers, also known as “Korean Mermaids” were the backbone of Jeju’s economy during the 1900’s, accounting for an astonishing 60% of Jeju’s fisheries revenue. How were they able to make such a huge impact on the economy?
The haenyeo dove up to an astonishing 20 meters underwater, catching octopus, abalone, clams, squid, oysters and other various seafood. What’s more impressive is that they did this without any breathing apparatus while holding their breath for a couple minutes at a time, wearing just a simple wet-suit and goggles. The haenyeo divers were the breadwinners of the island, bringing back food daily for their families.
In our current day, these women are now celebrated as one of the nation’s most valued treasures. Most of the haenyeo that are alive today are in their 60’s, some still diving in their 70’s and 80’s. These fearless women can be still be seen diving in the waters of Jeju Island today, and many say they won’t stop until the day they die.
Check out the video below and take a glimpse of the beautiful island of Jeju!
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*This article is sponsored by JEJU TOURISM ORGANIZATION
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