The Haenyeo Diaries

My year-long photographic diary dedicated to Jeju Island’s haenyeo, female free divers (mostly in their 70s and 80s) who forage the ocean for edible seafood without any breathing apparatus. I was very fortunate to see them frequently near my home in Oedo-dong (15 mins drive west of Jeju City), constantly looking out for their orange tewak (floatation devie) and then going out to help them bring in their massive catch of foraged sea creatures, usually weighing upwards of 30~40 kg gathered in a three or four hour period. Although they have been documented quite extensively on TV and the media, it was truly more amazing and humbling to watch them in person and document them in their natural element.

Day 19: It’s All About the Muneo (Octopus)

Day 18: I’m Their Unofficial Bodyguard

Day 17: The Long Walk

Day 16: Me, Myself, and the Haenyeos

Day 15: Show Me the Money

Day 14: Making Ooh-Moot Gasari (Seaweed Jelly)

Day 13: Day Off and Repairing Equipment

Day 12: Collecting 600 kg of Seaweed

Day 11: Declining Abalone

Day 10: Foraging More Hong Haesam (Red Sea Cucumbers)

Day 9: Annoying Domestic Tourists

Day 8: Learned Why This Will Be the Last Generation of Haenyeos

Day 7: Haesam Brings in the Money

Day 6: Fast Sales of Prized Ingredients

Day 5: Getting More Intimate Photos

Day 4: Haenyeos Heading Out at Kimnyeong Port

Day 3: Haenyeo Meet a Foreigner

Day 2: Haenyeo Braving the Weather

Day 1: Starstruck