GASYONDETHA – The Iroquois meteor god. Like the war god Areskoi he tried to woo the goddess Iagentci when she was taking Marriage Bread to Hawenneyu, the Chief of the Iroquois deities. Gasyondetha was associated not just with meteors and comets blazing across the sky but also with ones that struck the earth in Iroquois territory. These fallen meteors were considered Gasyondetha’s teeth, which he would sometimes pluck out of his mouth as a show of fortitude and toss to the earth below.
Many unusual rock formations that were NOT really meteors were mistakenly believed to be fallen meteors by the Iroquois in ancient times. Some stones that were believed to be meteors were said to talk and were the source of ancient stories about the world and the gods in a myth about the origin of Iroquois historical and religious tales.
One of the most famous myths involving Gasyondetha involved the god visiting an Iroquois man- Svengedaigea – in a dream warning him about monsters coming to devour everyone in his village.
Nobody believed the man, not even his wife and family so Gasyondetha ordered him to abandon the village and all its inhabitants to their fate. The god led the man to a fallen meteor with a hole in it. Through the hole Svengedaigea witnessed the destruction of his old village and everyone in it. Next Gasyondetha had him shoot arrows into the hole and the arrows immediately pierced the images of the monsters in the image, killing them.
The meteor god then gave Svengedaigea one of his teeth, which would enable him to assume animal form and other feats of magic. He commanded the Iroquois man to lead Gasyondetha’s ancient foe, the giagantic blue lizard Dzainos, on a merry chase. Eventually that chase led to a pit made by a meteor and that pit transported the man and Dzainos to the land of the gods on the other side of the sky. Once there Gasyondetha met his archenemy in final combat and at last destroyed the gigantic lizard forever. He then showed Svengedaigea some of the sights in the land of the gods, like their tree-sized corn and the sun-tree of the chief deity Hawenneyu. Finally Gasyondetha returned the mortal to Earth, where a new bride and a new home awaited him.
FOR MY ORIGINAL LIST OF FIFTEEN IROQUOIS DEITIES CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2013/01/28/the-top-fifteen-deities-in-iroquois-mythology/
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