Previously Balladeer’s Blog examined the gods and goddesses of the Merina people of Madagascar. This time around I’ll move on to the Betsimisaraka people, the second most populous group in that island nation.
Instead of my usual list of entries on each individual deity in a pantheon this time around I will experiment with taking the myths in order, from creation onward. Let me know if you prefer that I go back to the usual method of individual entries.
I. CREATION – Zanahary, the sky god and supreme deity of the Betsimisaraka, wanted companionship in his heavenly realm, so he created his son Razanajanahary. The two got along famously but after a time the son lost his sense of contentment and wanted to explore lower realms.
The father encouraged Razanajanahary to indulge his wanderlust. When the son tried, he found that there was no place for him to stand in the realm far below. He told Zanahary about this situation, and the father resolved to take action.
Zanahary used his knife, the rainbow, and sliced up the nebulous mass beneath his heavenly realm. Once he had divided the mass into many pieces the sky god proceeded to use his rainbow knife as a tool to help him sculpt the moon and other celestial bodies.
For what became the Earth, Zanahary piled up the mountains, carved out valleys and then crushed and smoothed the plains. Razanajanahary then lowered himself to the Earth below in a basket fashioned by his father.
PART TWO COMING VERY SOON IF YOU READERS LIKE THIS APPROACH OVER ENTRIES.
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