During my day tour with Jim from Jeju Olle, I realised many people within the team had ‘pony like’ dolls attached to their bags. What was striking about them was that each one was very bright, and unique in terms of the patterns they had as well as the colour of the stitches. It turns out these hand crafted pony like dolls were called Gan-se (간세) dolls. These economically-friendly dolls are symbols of the Jeju Olle Trails which are one of the major tourist attractions of Jeju Island. Not sure what Jeju Olle trails are? Check out my trail adventures here! Compared to the major cities in Korea in which life is faster paced and more competitive, the Gan-Se dolls represent a more peaceful and slower pace of life.
In the last decade, women’s clothing has dropped so much in price, it is now possible for them to buy clothes, wear them for a short period of time, and throw them away. With a million tonnes of clothes wasted, the Jeju Olle Organization decided to take this opportunity to recycle the clothing to make these beautiful Gan-se dolls. Each one sold is donated to the organization which uses the money to preserve and maintain the fragile natural beauty of the Jeju Olle Trails.
It is also possible to experience in making your very own Ganse doll in Panong Café (바농 카페) in Seogwipo. There will be an expert helping you and it will take up to 3-4 hours to make. It may seem a long time but you get to make your very own unique and personalised Ganse doll! If you think that will take too much time then you can still buy a previously made one.
With the Jeju Olle Walking Festival just around the corner, become one with the island by purchasing your very own unique Ganse doll! This looks just too awesome on my backpack.
Oh…and out of curiousity who is interested in winning some of these Gan-se dolls? If there is enough interest I will make an event on my Facebook page! 😉