Tag Archives: epic myths

BAKARIDJAN KONE: AN AFRICAN EPIC MYTH

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its blog posts about neglected mythological epics from around the world. This particular epic comes from the Bambara people of the Kingdom of Segu in what is now Mali.

MaliTHE BAKARIDJAN KONE EPIC – Djeli, the poet-historians of the Bambara people for over 300 years, would often recite, chant and sing this epic myth while playing their stringed instruments called ngoni.

A. The future father of Bakaridjan Kone is a noble-born farmer in Disoro Nko. He grows tired of his agrarian lifestyle and his wives. (“Segu City’s where he’d rather be/ He gets allergic smelling hay” Had to be said.) Hearing that Da Monzon, the great ruler of the Kingdom of Segu, knows how to create gold, the disenchanted farmer goes to Segu City and becomes part of the court of Da Monzon, only to learn the gold story is not true.

A ngoni instrument

A ngoni

B. Kumba, one of the errant farmer’s wives, gives birth to a boy. His deadbeat dad refuses to be present for the naming ceremony but hints around to Da Monzon that maybe he should provide him with a gift to celebrate the birth. Da Monzon is disgusted with the man for abandoning his wives and not being present for said naming ceremony.

              Instead, the king sends cowries to the wives so they can perform a proper ceremony, at which he wants the baby to be named Bakaridjan Kone. As the provider of the boy’s name, Da Monzon has made himself the child’s adopted father.

C. Years go by, and, royal politics being what they are no matter the culture or time period, Da Monzon begins to worry that he may get killed and/or overthrown before any of his sons are old enough to take over as king. His morike (oracle or diviner) tells him that no full-grown man poses a threat, but there is a boy-child who would one day be able to seize the throne. The morike advises Da Monzon to find a boy who is tough enough to not cry out when his foot is pierced by the king’s spear. THAT is the boy who might overthrow the king. Continue reading

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IROQUOIS EPIC MYTH PART TEN: THE CANNIBAL WIZARDS

FOR CHAPTER LINKS CLICK HERE

pile of human bonesHODADEION PART 10 – THE CANNIBAL WIZARDS – Now safely on the northern side of Niagara Falls following his battle with the whirlwind, the demigod Hodadeion continued walking toward the northeast.

The god of magic knew he was getting closer and closer to the home village of the cannibal wizards who had abducted his younger brother, the wampum god Otgoe. Hodadeion could tell that from the greater frequency with which he came upon empty villages which the cannibal wizards had depopulated by feasting on all the inhabitants.  Continue reading

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VIETNAMESE MYTHS: A WAR BETWEEN GODS

A WAR BETWEEN GODS 

Vietnam mapCANTO ONE – The jungle and mountain god Tan Vien was accompanying the semi-divine Emperor Hung Vuong XVIII on a Royal Hunt. A turn of fate puts them in a position to save the imperiled son of Long Vuong, the chief sea god. CLICK HERE

CANTO TWO – Tan Vien and Thuy Tinh, the god of the monsoon rains, both fall in love with Mi Nuong, the daughter of Emperor Hung Vuong XVIII. Against the backdrop of their growing rivalry, Thuy Tinh’s father Long Vuong honors Tan Vien for saving his son. CLICK HERE 

CANTO THREE – Tan Vien, Thuy Tinh and the patriarch of the Thuc family are among the suitors competing in various contests for the hand of Mi Nuong. CLICK HERE 

CANTO FOUR – As the final two remaining suitors, Tan Vien and Thuy Tinh are pitted against each other in a contest of power and in a quest for obscure relics. CLICK HERE  Continue reading

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AUGUST 15th: THE MOON GODDESS AND YI THE DIVINE ARCHER

 I.WHAT’S UP WITH YI?  – Yi the Divine Archer from Chinese mythology deserves to be remembered in one breath with some of the other great heroes and monster slayers from belief systems around the world. Most people are only familiar with his feat of shooting down multiple suns that appeared in the sky one day, but this article will provide a light- hearted look at all of his fantastic adventures. 

Yi is pronounced “Yee” according to some sources, but according to others it’s pronounced “EEE”, so you can insert your own Ned Beatty joke here. (Mine would go like this:  REDNECK: C’mon, ya fat little hog, what’s the name of the Divine Archer in Chinese mythology?    NED BEATTY: EEEEEE! )

Yi was of semi- divine birth, but since “Yi the Semi- Divine Archer” doesn’t have the same ring to it, we’ll stick to his better- known nickname. Yi performed most of his heroic feats for the Chinese ruler Yao, the godling son of the supreme deity Huang Di. Yao would be remembered as the first of the Three Sage Kings in Chinese legends.   

2. OFF- BROADWAY – Two of Yi’s earliest adventures after reaching manhood presented him with the weapons he would be most associated with forever after. Yi saved the people of Yao’s kingdom from a monstrous tiger, from whose bones he carved his indestructible bow. Conveniently his next adventure involved slaying a rogue dragon, from whose tendons he crafted thousands of unbreakable shafts, then affixed arrowheads and feathers to the two ends.  Continue reading

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A WAR BETWEEN GODS: VIETNAMESE EPIC MYTH

A WAR BETWEEN GODS 

Vietnam mapCANTO ONE – The jungle and mountain god Tan Vien was accompanying the semi-divine Emperor Hung Vuong XVIII on a Royal Hunt. A turn of fate puts them in a position to save the imperiled son of Long Vuong, the chief sea god. CLICK HERE

CANTO TWO – Tan Vien and Thuy Tinh, the god of the monsoon rains, both fall in love with Mi Nuong, the daughter of Emperor Hung Vuong XVIII. Against the backdrop of their growing rivalry, Thuy Tinh’s father Long Vuong honors Tan Vien for saving his son. CLICK HERE 

CANTO THREE – Tan Vien, Thuy Tinh and the patriarch of the Thuc family are among the suitors competing in various contests for the hand of Mi Nuong. CLICK HERE  Continue reading

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BAYBAYAN: EPIC MYTH OF THE PHILIPPINES

Philippines Map 3Here’s another piece in the tradition of Balladeer’s Blog’s guides to my examinations of the epic myths about Nayanazgeni, the Navajo War God and Pele & Hi’iaka, the Hawaiian volcano goddess and her sister.

I. PART ONE – After Baybayan’s miraculous birth and rapid growth the demigod travels the Philippines performing miracles and gathering a huge band of followers around him. Soon, the day of apocalyptic danger arrives. CLICK HERE   

II. PART TWO – As Baybayan performs a multitude of wedding ceremonies for his disciples all the merriment ends with the arrival of the gigantic, world-destroying monster called the Makadingding. CLICK HERE   Continue reading

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NAVAJO EPIC MYTH: THE WAR GOD VS THE ANAYE

Nayanazgeni

Nayanazgeni, the Navajo god of war.

Readers have been asking for a Chapter Guide to my exhaustive examination of God Slayer, my title for the Navajo myth about Nayanazgeni, their god of war, and his quest to destroy the Alien Gods called the Anaye. Here it is:

I. BIRTH OF THE ANAYE – This chapter deals with the Separation Myth and how Navajo women’s unnatural sex acts (or liasons with Coyote or possibly Begochidi) spawned the dark, alien gods called the Anaye – click HERE

II. WHEN A GOD DIES – Nayanazgeni (“Alien God Slayer”) notches his first kill as he takes down a gigantic, double-headed Anaye who rides upon a Kaiju-sized cougar – click HERE    Continue reading

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THE FINALE OF PELE AND HI’IAKA: EPIC OF HAWAII

HawaiianislandsBalladeer’s Blog concludes its examination of the grand and exciting Hawaiian epic about the goddesses Pele and Hi’iaka.

PART TWENTY-EIGHT

As the previous installment ended Pele was furiously proclaiming that she would kill Prince Lohiau and destroy her sister Hi’iaka for falling in love (ish) while Hi’iaka was escorting the prince to the Big Island to become Pele’s husband. Hi’iaka had spitefully consummated her love for Prince Lohiau right at the base of Pele’s home atop Mount Kilauea. She had done this to punish the fire and volcano goddess for her savage slaying of Hopoe, the goddess whom Hi’iaka had placed in charge of her beloved forests of lehua trees.

Pele’s explosive temper was unleashed at the sight of her younger sister and her intended husband coupling publicly. As she caused a flood of lava to flow down the mountain and encircle Lohiau and Hi’iaka she had cried to all the gods in the Hawaiian pantheon that any of them who sided with Hi’iaka would be declaring themselves an enemy of Pele and would risk destruction or banishment.   Continue reading

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PELE AND HI’IAKA: EPIC OF HAWAII PART TWENTY-SEVEN

Pele and Hi'iakaBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the grand and exciting Hawaiian epic about the goddesses Pele and Hi’iaka.

PART TWENTY-SEVEN

And so, as Hi’iaka’s revenge on her sister Pele, the volcano and fire goddess, she made sure that her first coupling with Prince Lohiau, the man both goddesses loved, took place right within Pele’s sight at the base of Mount Kilauea. All of Pele’s other sisters had gathered around her to see the beautiful man named Lohiau. The fern goddess Pa’u’o’pala’e and the mortal woman Wahine, whom Hi’iaka had sent on ahead, entered Pele’s tempestuous presence. 

Pele raged at the two women, demanding to know why the quest to reach and return from Lohiau’s home of Kauai had taken so long. Pa’u’o’pala’e, as a sister goddess, replied to Pele that no matter what had caused the delay Lohiau had arrived and was at the foot of Mount Kilauea with Hi’iaka.   Continue reading

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PELE AND HI’IAKA: EPIC OF HAWAII PART TWENTY-SIX

MolokaiBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the grand and exciting Hawaiian epic about the goddesses Pele and Hi’iaka.

PART TWENTY-SIX

The ship carrying Hi’iaka, Prince Lohiau and Wahine arrived at Iloli on the island of Molokai. The generally barren nature of the area prompted the trio to remain with the ship’s crew when they soon put off for Maui. Continue reading

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