The Haenyeo Dictionary

Muljil means “water-work.” On Jeju Island, South Korea, this word refers to the work of the haenyeo, the elderly diving women who live as the real-life mermaids of Jeju’s volcanic coast. Or so muljil means on Jeju, at least. Dropping the phrase 물질 (muljil) into google translate, I get the word “substance.” The same …

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Why I Chose to Become A Mermaid

Jeju Island has real-life mermaids. They do not look like what you might expect. Instead of smooth porcelain skin, their faces are mapped with wrinkles. In place of long, flowing hair, they flaunt ear-length perms. Their backs bend permanently at the waist. Most are missing teeth. But underwater they move …

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