MERINA MYTHOLOGY: THE GOD RAPETO

RapetoRAPETO – This gigantic deity falls into the global mythological category of “Divine Geographers” for his role in crafting and creating many landmarks throughout Madagascar. This makes him similar to Khong Lo in Vietnamese myths, Inugpasug in Inuit myths, Halmang in Korean myths and Moshiri in Ainu myths. A number of stories about the enormous Rapeto explain the origin of various geographical features throughout the land. His name was used to classify the Rapetosaurus, a dinosaur that used to inhabit Madagascar.

Once Rapeto asked his wife, the cattle goddess Rasoalao, to lend him her herds to trample down his vast, sprawling rice fields. She refused, so he dammed up the fields, causing them to fill with water and become Lake Itasy, where Rasoalao watered her herds. According to tradition this incident must have happened before the two deities married since the Merina priests said a wife would not have been allowed to refuse such a request from her husband. Once again we see that this type of sexism afflicted virtually all ancient cultures and is not characteristic of just one place.  

Other myths recount how various valleys were Rapeto’s dinner bowls, various canyons were his footprints and islands in lakes were stones he kicked out of his way. Another prominent myth tells how Rapeto foolishly tried to drag the moon from the sky to serve as his daughter’s plaything but the moon seared him with its beams, dissuading him from the attempt.

That last particular myth is often used to point out the perils of hubris, like the tale of Icarus in Greco-Roman myths. 

I’LL BE EXAMINING ADDITIONAL MERINO DEITIES IN A FEW DAYS.    

FOR THE MAIN LIST OF MERINA DEITIES CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2015/02/24/top-figures-in-merina-mythology/

FOR SIMILAR ARTICLES AND MORE OF THE TOP LISTS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/top-lists/

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under Mythology

12 responses to “MERINA MYTHOLOGY: THE GOD RAPETO

  1. Awesome! Never knew Madagascar had gods like this!

  2. Impressive but obscure gods!

  3. I love that whole divine geographer thing.

  4. Impressively obscure selection here! You’re like an intellectual version of a hipster.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s