HORSES UNDER THE VOLCANO
Director(s): Eric CHEBASSIER, Samantha VANDERSTEEN – Writer(s): Samantha VANDERSTEN Contact Print page
Located some 100 kilometers to the south of the mainland, the volcanic island of Jeju or Jejudo is the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula and one of the country’s nine provinces.
In just a few decades, Jeju evolved from a place of wilderness to Unesco World Heritage site in 2007, attracting visitors in search of natural beauty and tranquility, but also opening the door to mass tourism which gradually transforms the island.
With only 600 000 inhabitants, Jeju welcomes each year millions of visitors – some 15 million in 2015. If tourism expanded thanks to the island’s magnificent sites and its legends, Jeju must now seek to preserve these natural treasures so as not to lose its very soul.
Among these treasures is the Jeju Horse, a small, stocky breed native to the province, traditionally used as farm and draft horses because of its remarkable stamina.
With the development of the island, though, it became an endangered species and in 1986, the Jeju Horse was declared a Natural National Monument as a way to ensure its survival with the support of many enthusiasts committed to preserving the four-legged treasure. Breeders, professionals and horse lovers of all ages will introduce us to the culture and the history of the Jeju horse. The stuff of legends, gods, ancient rites and traces of the past…