In the past Balladeer’s Blog has examined the gods and myths of Polynesian people in Hawaii, Samoa, Bellona and Rennell. This time around I’m taking a look at the neglected gods of the Melanesian people of Fiji.
NOTE: I am spelling the names of the deities phonetically to make it easier for readers to know how to pronounce them. I’m doing this to avoid the awkwardness of having to remember the odd rules regarding how to pronounce certain consonants.
For instance “Q” is pronounced “ng-g” so with the name of the shark god, spelled Dakuwanqa in that system, I will spell it Ndakuwang-ga so readers don’t have to remember how Q is supposed to be pronounced or that “D” is pronounced “nd”. After all, the Fijians certainly were not using our alphabet prior to contact with Europeans, so I think it’s inefficient to expect readers to remember odd pronunciation rules for letters that the Fijians never used to begin with.
KONOSAU – The god of stillborn infants. Originally born dead to the first Bau woman taken to Rewa, this entity became the patron deity of such offspring. His main temple is called Nai Bili.
NAITONU – The god of nudity. I’m not joking. Naitonu hates the custom of wearing clothing and not only is he constantly naked but he expects nudity from everyone entering his territory – even if they are just passing through. Failure to comply will result in the offender being struck with leprosy.
ALEWANISOSO – The patron goddess of travelers and hospitality. Regardless of their tribe, fellow Fijians who reach one of Alewanisoso’s temples can be assured of not being harmed during their stay – usually an overnight one.
Hostility or rudeness of any kind is taboo in her temples and everyone entering is expected to conduct themselves as gently and courteously as they would when wooing a mate.
ROKOMAUTU – A son of the supreme deity Ndengei by his sister. This deity was born from his mother’s elbow as another example of birthing oddities in world mythology. Rokomautu was so headstrong he tried to force even his own parents to worship him.
Rokomautu falls into the mythological category that Balladeer’s Blog’s readers will remember as a Divine Geographer. When Ndengei first created the world the land was featureless, so he sent his son Rokomautu to provide character. The god sculpted the Earth’s various geographic features.
The sandy beaches of Fiji were created by Rokomautu dragging his flowing robe over the terrain. When the god pulled up his robe while walking the land became rocky or filled with mangrove bushes. By some accounts anywhere that he spat a lake or river would form.
Once during a drought in which many were dying, Rokomautu was passing through and used his hair-pin, or milamila, to puncture a hole in a rock from which drinking water then flowed.
SOBO – The goddess of soft breezes on the Fijian island of Thikombia. Her husband Rasikilau, the patron deity of that island, killed their two sons once it became apparent that their strength might rival his some day if he allowed them to live.
Sobo reacted by cutting off contact with her husband and, after days of weeping over the deaths of the children, she willed herself to become disembodied. She lives on now as the soft warm breezes on Thikombia. When the breezes are loud enough to be heard it is the goddess sighing with sadness as her mourning continues.
UTO – Another son of the supreme deity Ndengei. Uto would often visit Fiji – sometimes in disguise – and if he saw that the temples were not filled for services or if the offerings were not being treated with proper reverence before being presented to the gods he would inform his father. Ndengei would then send foul weather to punish the Fijians. If the offense was bad enough Ndengei would send a hurricane.
One of the myths about Uto features his first ever visit to Fiji in the distant past. He came upon a family mourning the death of one of their own – the first death in human history. Uto instructed the family to bury their loved one but dig them up on the fourth day and the deceased would rise from the dead. The family got the instructions wrong, so ever since then death is permanent. (This parallels many myths from around the world which feature humans losing the chance for eternal life.)
Uto’s favorite place in Fiji was Rakiraki, site of the main temple to his father Ndengei.
RADINI-MBURERUA – This four-breasted goddess was considered the Queen of the Two Temples. She is a guardian goddess similar to the Trung Sisters in Vietnamese Myths.
In the hundreds of years of written Fijian history none of the towns under her protection had ever been taken in war until 1856. Radini-Mburerua serves as a Champion of the Faith, since the goddess represents the stubborn survival of the old Fijian religion against the invading faiths of Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.
This goddess is served exclusively by priestesses.
ULUPOKA – Like Adi-Mailaga this was one of the evil deities defeated and driven from the Skyland by the demigod Tuilakemba. That heroic figure destroyed all of Ulupoka’s body except his head, which fell to the Earth below.
Ulupoka’s head would travel around Fiji on its own, spreading disease and discord. The head was said to enter homes in the dead of night and bite someone. The person bitten would grow ill and die soon after.
VUIBENG-GA – The patron deity of fire-walkers, an art which supposedly began on the Fijian island of Beng-Ga. Long ago when this god was traveling in the form of an eel he was captured by a fisherman. As we will see over and over again the gods and goddesses of Fiji are helpless if captured in animal form. (Which makes one wonder why they ever bother taking such forms, but you know mythology!)
Vuibeng-Ga pleaded for his release, offering the fisherman beautiful women, riches, food in abundance and more but none of the bribes persuaded his captor. Finally when the deity offered the man the secret of being able to walk through flames and upon heated coals without harm a deal was made. (?)
The god gave the fisherman and any disciples he would subsequently gather the power to endure flames that would mortally injure anyone else. From there the art of firewalking spread.
ROKOTAVO – This Fijian god of battle, though technically subordinate to the war deity Rokomoko, plays a much more active role in the myths.
Rokotavo is the general of Rokomoko’s troops, both godly and mortal. Waimoro and Mbau are the centers of worship for these two deities.
At the command of Rokomoko, Rokotavo and his sons enter or “possess” young Fijian men and fill them with a zeal for battle. The men join the army and for a period of at least a year live separately from the rest of their village, usually in a communal dwelling like a barracks.
For that period they enter no homes, do not see their families and they communicate only with members of their own sex. This includes Rokomoko’s priests, who here take the place of your standard drill sergeant types, putting the men through their paces on a daily basis.
Their food is all roasted in the communal huts or out in the wilds. They may not eat food that is boiled or baked during that same year-long period.
Eventually, when the new troops are deemed ready to be sent out with the next war party the priests declare each man to be invulnerable to the weapons of their enemies. (This ritual continued all the way up through the early 1900s, long after bullets were added to the dangers of war in Fiji.)
Men who were subsequently injured in battle were deemed to have somehow earned Rokotavo’s displeasure. For the men who remained “invulnerable” it was believed that any wounds which they otherwise might have suffered were instead absorbed by a submerged river-log which was sacred to Rokotavo. (Sort of a “Log of Dorian Gray” concept.)
Soldiers would often dive for this log in the river near Rokomoko’s temple and pick out the markings which they felt the log had suffered from enemy weaponry on their behalf.
As for Rokomoko himself, he most often appears to his worshippers as a lizard. Cowry shells found nowhere else in Fiji except near his temple are considered sacred to the deity. Before a declaration of war the god’s priests would weed the vicinity of Rokomoko’s temple, and if pleased the god would visit their canoes in his lizard form to “bless” the upcoming martial endeavor.
KERUKERU – A woman of Yaro, Fiji who was bodily raised to godhood and allowed to join the deities in Mbulu, the land of the dead, without having to die herself. This was a reward to her for her flawless conduct in life and as recompense for the horrible treatment she received from her husband.
Kerukeru thus became the patron goddess of wives and was appealed to by women whose husbands mistreated them.
VAKALELEYALO – One of the entities encountered by dead souls on their epic journey to Mbulu, the land of the dead. Also called Taveta and Thema this deity is often described as “the Charon of Fijian myths.” As Charon ferried souls across the River Styx, so Vakaleleyalo was the canoe captain who would ferry the souls of the dead from the Rakiraki region across to Mbulu.
Vakaleleyalo would ask male spirits two questions: a) Did you marry? and b) Have you slain men in battle? If the answer to either question was “no” then the deity would toss the soul overboard to be gnawed on by ghostly sharks. After a time the canoe captain would retrieve the passenger and ferry them the rest of the way but they would spend their afterlife with the sharks’ teeth-marks upon them.
NDELATAMBUTAMBU – A populist god beloved by the fishing communities of Bau. He is giant-sized and walks the shoreline and the reefs catching fish which he immediately cooks in the clay firepot he wears on his head like a helmet.
There are no temples or priests dedicated to Ndelatambutambu, but a spot of ground is sacred to him. If children are nearby when the god is broiling fish he is happy to feed them some.
RAVURAVU – One of the evil deities defeated and driven from Skyland by the demigod Tuilakemba. Ravuravu was the patron god of murderers and after his initial fall from Skyland he assumed human form and lurked in Navukeilagi, where he killed several men and women.
After being caught red-handed in the act of committing one of his murders the cowardly deity fled and from then on preyed upon Fijians less frequently. Ravuravu often sat upon large stones while awaiting victims to attack. Anyone sitting on a rock once sat upon by Ravuravu would turn whiter than an albino. That same change in skin color also afflicted anyone who walked in footprints left by the murder god.
The priests of Ravuravu often made a public show of eating rocks, no matter how much damage that activity did to their teeth.
KAMBUYA – A god who can send fair weather or rain showers to the world. The center of Kambuya’s worship was Rewa (see photo). It was forbidden to touch a large rock which was sacred to this deity. Anyone foolish enough to touch it would be punished by Kambuya by contracting leprosy.
The god had a mild tricksterish side, too, and would sometimes put obstacles in the way of hungry people headed for a feast. Anyone who arrived late for the event was laughed at as a victim of Kambuya’s practical jokes and would be served last.
The charmed rock that was sacred to the deity was first bestowed upon the family of a fisherman in Tavuya. Over the course of several days the rock would be found in different locations of their home no matter where they left it.
Realizing the special nature of the stone the family paid worship to it. Kambuya spoke through it, telling the family to let their entire village know that if they paid him proper worship he would grant fair weather for their hunting or their military expeditions. The villagers did so and were rewarded as promised.
Kambuya’s rock gained such renown that the Chief of Rewa sent his men to move the stone from Tavuya to a spot near his own home. Annoyed at such presumption, Kambuya made the rock so heavy that the Chief wound up having to send a literal army of men just to move that one lone object. It wound up taking four entire days for the army to transport the rock the mere three miles to its new location.
To show his disapproval over the stone being moved against his wishes, Kambuya compensated Tavuya for the loss of the sacred rock by instead making the village plentiful in dawa (plum) trees, while preventing any such trees from ever growing in Rewa.
ADI-MAILAGU – This goddess was one of the evil deities driven from the Skyworld by the Fijian demigod Tuilakemba. When Adi-Mailagu first fell from the sky humans witnessed her landing in Uruone, Fiji. She fell into the small Kele Kele River and caused the water to overflow the banks. Embarrassed, the goddess emerged from the water in the form of a large grey rat and fled into the jungle since Fijian deities are vulnerable when in animal form.
From there she would venture into the villages by night, stealing children’s shadows and carrying them off in her palm leaf basket. The children would then grow sick and die unless their shadows managed to escape before Adi-Mailagu could eat them. The goddess lived in a patch of ivi trees and if passersby made noise it would anger Adi-Mailagu, who would come out and attack them.
To handsome, fit men this goddess would appear as a beautiful young woman who would seduce them and steal their soul in the process. To women or to men that she did not find attractive Adi-Mailagu would appear as either a withered old woman with a long red tongue or as a large grey rat. She would merely injure such people rather than steal their souls.
Men took to making offerings to the goddess before passing through her territory, so that she would not victimize them if she found them attractive. Her priests would provide burnt offerings to Adi-Mailagu near her home, from which she would emerge to answer questions put to her by the holy men. In her honor those priests would caress and rub oil into the fur of any rats they encountered.
NANG-GAI – Yet another son of Ndengei. Nang-Gai served as the supreme deity’s messenger or emissary. When the sound of the waves crashing on the Rakiraki reefs made so much noise that it was preventing Ndengei from sleeping he sent Nang-Gai to silence it. To this day the surf off Rakiraki is notoriously quiet.
The bats near Rakiraki were also too loud for Nedengei’s liking and the messenger god was sent to coerce them into silence as well. When the birds at Nathilau started making too much noise Nang-Gai was sent to order them to leave the area at night and only visit it during the day.
Once while chasing away yet another hindrance to his father’s comfortable sleep, the god accidentally lost his war-club in the waters off the Fijian island of Naithombothombo. The inhabitants of the island made Nang-Gai so pleased with their offerings to the deity’s ravenous appetite that he rewarded them by pulling from his arm-band a hundred pigs – the first pigs ever to exist.
He also pulled miles of Masi Cloth from behind his ear as a gift for them before departing. The next morning their chief, who had contemplated trying to destroy Nang-Gai when he was eating so much of the tribe’s food, was found dead for that transgression.
SAMULAYO – One of the deities encountered by a dead soul on their epic journey to reach Mbulu, the land of the dead. Samulayo is a very aggressive warrior who, if not properly propitiated when encountered, will attack the soul, intent on making it suffer “the second death” and be annihilated into nothingness.
If a soul puts up a good enough fight Samulayo will allow it to pass. The Fijians bury their dead with war-clubs to prepare them for the encounter with this hostile entity.
MOSI – The patron goddess of the Mambua clan. She and her husband Vuimambua regulate and reflect the birth rate of the clan. For every birth among the Mambua the goddess’ stone incarnation in the nearby forest “gives birth” to a pebble.
The varying color of the pebbles is said to perfectly reflect the skin tone of the newborn. White pebbles are “birthed” on the rare occasions when an albino is born to the Mambua clan. A dark pebble with a white circle around it once reflected the birth of a child with a similar odd birthmark around their neck.
One day in the distant past Mosi inspired a chosen man to be the first priest for her and her husband. He established the methods of worship preferred by the two deities.
Ivis – chestnut trees – in the forest are sacred to Mosi, and any pilgrims must be careful to never trod upon or accidentally kick fallen chestnuts. The goddess will kill anyone who offends her in this way. (Fair enough.)
Worshippers who approach the sacred stone must remove all headwear and come bearing four blades of grass. The blades are thrown at the stone one by one, following which the faithful make a request of the goddess – usually for family fertility.
NDAUTHINA – The torch-bearing god of light. When this deity was a child the only way his mother could get him to behave was to strap a few burning reeds in front of him, carrot and stick style. Ndauthina would sit and stare at the flames for hours. This figure is called The Lord of Gods because he is the tallest one in the Fijian pantheon.
Ndauthina still walks around with a torch which hangs from a wand protruding from his headband. He can control the amount of daylight, making him an important god during war. He will grant his devotees enough light to get into position as they approach their targets but then withdraws the light by pulling up his hood so the targeted villagers cannot see the approaching soldiers.
Conversely this god will provide premature daylight to make his people’s enemies visible to them as they approach, preventing a sneak attack. He can make himself invisible and then eavesdrops on his favored worshipers’ foes, relaying to them their opponents’ war plans.
If properly propitiated Ndauthina will assume the form of a fish peddler and enter an enemy village. As many fish as he sells to the residents will equal how many of their soldiers die in the next battle. (In other versions it is instead his son Mbutakoivalu who does this.)
In some traditions he is also the god who causes lightning but in others he only causes lightning when marking the death of one of his priests. Among the seafaring and fishing villages the temples of Ndauthina are like embassies. Even travelers from enemy villages may seek shelter in those temples and be safe from any harm, lest the host village get on the god’s bad side and have him work against them in the next war.
Ndauthina is known for seducing women – both mortals and the wives of his fellow deities. This has made him the patron god of adulterers.
TUINDELA-IGAU – The god who lives in a treehouse in the mountains of Gau. He is able to detach his head, hands and legs and send them off on separate errands, like to wash themselves in the ocean, catch fish, etc. His head he sometimes hangs in the sky to admire the countryside.
His first priests were two men who spied upon the god sending his limbs off to wash themselves. They swore devotion to him so he taught them some spells to imitate his powers.
He could summon from the sky tools, leaves and vegetables for a meal to be cooked in a dug-out earth oven. To make up for the lack of meat a true believer would need to lie in the earth oven, believing that the god’s power would protect them from harm. The slightest doubt would result in a painful death, buried and burned alive in said earth oven.
If the devotee had sufficient faith not only would they survive but meat would magically form in the earth oven, to be enjoyed with the leaves and vegetables when the cooking was done. Other times the earth oven would produce a wealth of rich fabrics for the women of the tribe to work with.
A wife of one of the priests once asked the god to spare her the tedious task of having to remove the outer rind of the native version of chestnuts (ivi). Tuidela-Igau responded by sending sacred grey bats from the caves of the Gau mountains to remove the rinds for her.
Those grey bats and the parrots in the trees around Gau would obey the commands of the deity, who could make them feed upon the plum trees or other crops of the unfaithful.
OIRAUNAMARAMA – The collective name of the two goddesses who live at Vioni on Gau. After each of their fishing expeditions the goddesses would steal banana shoots from the people to round out their meal.
Tiring of their bananas being plundered in this way, all the tribes of Gau united in sending their armies against the goddesses in their lair: a wide hole in the ground. The armies made their way through all the twists and turns in the subterranean labyrinth.
The Oiraunamarama knew why the troops had invaded their home so they created and offered a beautiful albino woman to the Vioni chief to make up for all the bananas they had stolen (Insert your own Johnny Stecchino joke here). In some versions the albino woman is actually one of the two goddesses.
Either way the albino becomes the bride of the Vioni chief. Eventually she gives birth to his son but is very neglectful of the child’s hygiene. Several members of the court criticize the mother for this and the enraged albino reminds them of her greater-than- human nature and furiously descends ghost-like into the ground.
Again the troops all gather to invade the Oiraunamarama’s underground lair but this time the goddesses unleash loud growls which terrify the men into fleeing. The two deities have had enough of the local mortals and possess a pair of women to become their priestesses.
With the complicity of those mortal women the goddesses forever after preyed upon and killed any solitary travelers on Gau. It became tradition to never venture out alone on the island, with all visitors also adopting that precaution.
RATUMAIBULU – Among serpent gods Ratumaibulu is second only to the supreme deity Ndengei. In some accounts he is yet another son of Ndengei. Most of the year Ratumaibulu resides in Mbulu, the land of the dead. For just one month, roughly equal to our November into December, this agriculture god visits the Earth, specifically Fiji, to usher in springtime. (Remember, Fiji is in the Southern Hemisphere so their seasons are the reverse of ours.)
As Ratumaibulu’s sacred month rolls on trees bear fruit and flowers bloom. The Fijians refrain from all labor for the month and avoid making noise, lest the god be disturbed and leave before his work is done. Singing, making music and waging war are also taboo during the god’s sacred month.
When the period is over, the priests bathe a representation of Ratumaibulu and then musicians blow conch-shells as an offering to the deity. Ratumaibulu is the only Fijian god who does not drink kava or yang-gona. He instead sups upon the wind and the sounds that come from the conch-shells.
Once the serpent god returns to Mbulu by way of his cave at Namara, songs and shouts travel from town to town, marking resumption of everyday life and labors. His priests get drunk as part of the festivities.
Koroiko, a chief living at Soso on Bau, once expressed skepticism about Ratumaibulu’s divinity. He went to the sacred cave at Namara and, after encountering an ever-larger procession of the god’s children, came face to face with the enormous Ratumaibulu himself.
After feigning submission Koroiko shot the deity with an arrow when it turned its back. Seeing that Ratumaibulu was unharmed the now-terrified chief fled. The god pronounced a curse on Koroiko so that all his meals, drinks and sleeping mats turned into snakes. After offering up all his worldly possessions to Ratumaibulu the chief was forgiven and the curse was lifted.
TUILAKEMBA – CLICK HERE
NDAKUWANG-GA – The chief shark god of Fiji. Ndakuwang-Ga established his preeminence by defeating in battle all the other shark deities which guarded particular islands. The only figure to ever beat Ndakuwang-Ga in combat was the octopus god of Kandavu Island. For centuries fishermen from there were considered immune to any and all shark attacks.
Though Ndakuwang-Ga mostly travels in the form of a shark his true form is that of a handsome, muscular Fijian man. His tattoos reveal his godly nature.
Just as a rainbow on land is attributed to the supreme deity Ndengei a rainbow at sea is credited to Ndakuwang-Ga. Supposedly this shark god and all his subordinate shark deities take the thighs of all their human victims to the reef near Yandua for the shark-priests to retrieve and eat.
The cycle of myths involving Ndakuwang-Ga features countless instances of him saving his worshippers from sinking ships at sea by letting them ride his back to shore. A reverse of that situation involved a canoe-full of Fijians from Yasawa who paddled to an island rich with coconuts, this deity’s favorite offering. The travelers failed to give any to the shark-god so in revenge he overturned their canoe and devoured all but their leader. That man was condemned to labor for eternity at Nathawa, Yandua, making and serving coconut offerings to Ndakuwang-Ga.
The shark god is said to have accompanied Fijian war canoes in the invasion of Natewa in 1848. If a dead shark washed ashore, Fijians would bury the creature with honors. If the ritual was performed flawlessly a vesi tree (ironwood tree) would supposedly grow from the shark’s remains.
Fiji has many legends about sharks being caught and then crying like human beings. This is taken as a sign that it may be Ndakuwang-Ga and the shark is released. In Gau a group of people once broke the taboo against eating sharks and everyone who ate the meat soon died.
Long ago one of the tribes of Vanua Levu killed and ate a saqa fish without knowing it was the messenger of the shark god. In punishment Ndakuwang-Ga created a small, paradisal island to lure all of that tribe onto it to partake of the abundant food and clear streams. After awhile the shark god willed the island to fall apart, causing all the villagers to swim back to shore.
Because the chief apologized to Ndakuwang-Ga and stayed on the collapsing island until all his people were safely ashore, the deity forgave the town, saluted the chief and swam away.
On one occasion the shark god stole the magical fishing hooks of Tokairahe, Lakeba’s patron deity of fishermen. Tokairahe turned himself into a bird and retook his hooks. (In some versions one of his priests turns into a bird to do this.) This triumph over Ndakuwang-Ga encouraged the Lakebans to declare their independence from Vanua Leva back before Fiji was one united nation.
One of Ndakuwang-Ga’s sons ran away from home long ago and hid in a river near Bau. The local villagers recognized the godling and poured offerings of yang-gona from coconut shells into the water. They begged the god to leave but he refused. At length Ndakuwang-Ga sent an army of sharks to the village to force the youngster to return home. To thank the villagers for treating his son well the shark god turned their formerly muddy river crystal-clear.
A visiting chief from Tonga once insulted Ndakuwang-Ga only to be eaten by the god on his return voyage.
*** For the full breakdown on the gods and goddesses encountered by the soul after death in ancient Fijian beliefs click HERE
NDENGEI – The supreme deity of the Fijian pantheon. Ndengei is most often featured as a giant snake emerging from a stone. He is sometimes depicted with the arms of a human but he only assumes full human form when hidden from prying eyes in his sacred cave at Rakiraki.
After creating the Earth this god sent his son Rokomautu to carve out the landscape into islands, mountains, lakes, valleys, etc. When Ndengei closes his eyes to sleep it is nighttime. When he opens them after resting it is morning.
If the god shifts his position in his cave thunder is heard. When he rolls over to lie on his other side an earthquake is the result. To provide moisture for his creation Ndengei throws his war-club at the clouds, shattering them into water which falls as rain.
Ndengei is easily irritated by noises and often sent his son Nang-Gai as a messenger to order silence. However, when the pottery-makers at Malaki, Nananu and elsewhere ticked off the god with their noise Ndengei personally used his foot to kick those regions away from the mainland, forming them into separate islands. When women drew water from the streams near the deity’s lair they had to be as silent as possible or else he would later transform their boiling food into snakes.
In the distant past Ndengei’s giant pet hawk Turukawa laid two eggs. The god himself chose to warm and incubate the eggs until they hatched and from them emerged the first man and woman. Ndengei created the first vesi tree to be their home and created bananas as their food.
By the time these first humans were six years old they were fully grown and matured. Eventually they told Ndengei they were tired of bananas so the god created yams, dalos and other foods for them and also taught them how to make fire and use it to cook food. At length the day arrived when the pair married and began peopling the world with humans to worship Ndengei and the other gods.
Generations later two of Ndengei’s grandsons – Nakausabaria and Thirikaumoli – settled among humans and ruled over the town of Nasauro. The brothers were conjoined twins and were sons of the carpenter god Rokola by way of the goddess Mbuivesi.
As Rokola was the god of all carpentry skills so Nakausabaria and Thirikaumoli were patron deities of the particular craft of canoe building. They made Nasauro the world’s capital of canoe-building and people came from far away to become apprentices to the gods and then return home with their new canoe-building skills.
As the decades wore on the conjoined twins grew weary of being expected to rise to work every day when their grandfather Ndengei opened his eyes, ushering in a new morning. Since the cry of the supreme deity’s hawk Turukawa was what woke up Ndengei each morning the twins decided to stalk and kill the giant creature.
Using the divine bow and arrows which their father had gifted them with, Nakausabaria and Thirikaumoli succeeded in slaying Turukawa. Next they plucked off all its feathers, hid its body and then enjoyed a life of ease for a prolonged night while Ndengei slept away.
Eventually the supreme deity woke up on his own and – in his divine wisdom – realized his beloved Turukawa had been killed. He also divined who was responsible and commanded his grandchildren to surrender to him. They defiantly refused, counting on the divine wall that their father had long ago built to keep Nasauro safe against any attack.
Ndengei created an army of soldiers to attack Nasauro again and again but each time the mighty wall built by his first-born son Rokola held firm against every assault. Giving up on a frontal attack Ndengei threw his war-club at the clouds to unleash a flood like never before seen.
Inevitably the flood waters rose above the indestructible wall around Nasauro and washed away the village. Two of the area’s tribes were completely wiped out – a tribe composed entirely of beautiful women and another composed of men and women who had tails like animals.
At one point, with pitifully few survivors of Nasaro left, Nakausabaria and Thirikaumoli called out to Ndengei to forgive them and save them and the rest of the people they ruled. Their grandfather forgave them and sent a giant shaddock fruit for the conjoined twins to float on.
The round shape of the fruit prevented the pair from getting a sufficient grip on the shaddock, so Ndengei split the giant fruit in two, then split the formerly conjoined twins into two separate beings and set each one on a half to float around on. (In some versions it is the intensity of the storm which splits them apart.)
Ndengei was not entirely merciful, however. For daring to defy him Nakausabaria and Thirikaumoli were stripped of their godly status and would eventually grow old and die. Their subjects had all been scattered by the flood and wherever they landed they would be laborers, using their canoe-building skills for the ruling class instead of being aristocrats themselves.
Ndengei also rules over the afterlife realm of Mbulu, often called “the future world” by Fijians. Dead souls emerge from one of two caves – Thibathiba or Ndrakulu. On the peak of Nandelainde in the Kauvandra Mountains the supreme deity passes judgment on each mortal soul, decreeing which level of the afterlife they will be sent to in the lake called Murimuria. Mburotu – similar to the Samoan Pulotu – is the happiest afterlife realm with various rewards or punishments waiting in the others.
FOR THE TOP 15 IROQUOIS DEITIES CLICK HERE – https://glitternight.com/2013/01/28/the-top-fifteen-deities-in-iroquois-mythology/
FOR SIMILAR ARTICLES AND MORE OF THE TOP LISTS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/top-lists/
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