Indigenous Peoples of Korea


“Power lasts ten years; influence not more than a hundred. The deeper the waters are, the more still they run. One can build a mountain by collecting specks of dust.”

Korean Translator                 

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Korea is one of the rare countries maintaining a single ethnic group by expelling all foreign invasions through history. They developed unique culture that has never been disconnected in 5000 years. The oldest domesticated rice in the world was found in Korea. This rice grains are 15,000 years The oldest rice grain in the earth, BC13000 The oldest rice grain in the earth, BC13000
ago, which is three thousand years older than the oldest one found in China. This discovery is important because it disproves the hypothesis that Chinese who cultivated rice migrated to Korean peninsular

Although the oldest known writings – written language – date back only 5,000 years at best, we can ‘read’ our history by studying fossils, our DNA, geological data, cosmological data, our language, and so on, and from these records, we can determine the origin, or rather the prehistoric history, of the , the baik-yi-min-jok – the ‘White-clad People’ (called “Dong-yi” — the eastern barbarians, 동이족 東夷族” and also 예맥족 濊貊族 by the Chinese historians). Recent genetic analysis on Koreans with eight ethnics (Koreans in China, Japanese, Han Chinese, Mongolians, Zhuangs, Malays, Javanese, and Soviet Asians) suggested that Koreans have the common origin to central Asians, and Mongolians.

The character ‘Yi’, as shown above, was originally meant for barbarians in the east, but later expanded to be more an inclusive word to mean aliens. The big Korean school of thought, touched on in prehistory section, claimed that the Koreans were true descendants of the Dongyi [Dong-yi] people. Hence, the identities of Koreans had changed dramatically during the course of history. As one reader speculated, “modern-day Koreans” might very well have “appropriated their (Dongyi) history and myths”. Charcoal remains of 2000-year-old rice in western Japan pointed to China’s Yantze Delta as the origin. DNA studies conducted on human remains excavated in Shandong Peninsula suggested southern and northern points of origin for Jormon and Yayoi Japanese. On basis of various historical records and modern technology analysis, I would speculate that early Korean culture was very much connected with eastern China as a result of nascent human migration from south to north and ii) that Tungusic invasions from Manchuria gradually overtook the early Continental traits. In both cases, Tungusic or continental, Koreans shared inseparable relations with the Chinese.


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