The Lore of Jeju

Work-in-progress currently supported by the Kat Muscat Fellowship 2019

For centuries, the emerald waters of Jeju island off the south coast of Korea have been ruled by a matriarchy of women—the Haenyeo (sea-women) who dive without oxygen tanks for shellfish, conch and other marine life to support their families.

The Lore of Jeju will take inspiration from these women, East Asian sea mythology and Jeju’s Shamanistic beliefs to tell the story of Shin-yong—a girl born on an island of female prisoners, exiled from the mainland for killing men. It will be about her bid to reconcile the brutal lores of her community and the circumstances of her mother’s exile. When Shin-yong discovers a fatally injured man washed up on Jeju’s beach after a storm, she must decide whether to hand him over to The Coven or to kill him herself.

Jae-sun knows he cannot survive without Shin’s help. But how can he convince a girl, who has lived a life of exile on account of brutal men, that he’s worthy of her compassion?