Korean: Origin of Man


This is Korean legend on the creation of man. In the beginning of time a tiger and bear wanted to become human so god put them in a deep cave. They both stayed in the cave for years without any food and as time passed they both started to freak out because they did not know why they were in cave. Eventually the bear decides to leave the cave and when he emerged he  was a man. As soon as he realized he was human he started wondering by himself looking for his best friend the tiger. In the end the tiger emerged from the cave as a woman.

Background and Context:

The informant is a Korean American sophomore at USC. He was born and raised in Northern California but he lived in South Korea for six months right after highschool. I collected the folklore on a Wednesday night in a very casual setting. My informant learned this story growing up as bedtime stories from his parents. While he does not believe in this creation story he still finds it interesting and relevant to his cultural heritage.

Final Thoughts:

My thoughts on this work was that it was new to me and interesting because I am Korean-American but I have never heard of this story before. I also found that the story contradicted itself slightly as the tiger and the bear wanted to be human but humans did not exist in the context of this story because it is a creation story on humans came to be. Otherwise I thought the story was interesting and unique because I have never heard stories similar to it.