Balladeer’s Blog’s look at the gods and myths of Bellona and Rennell Islands has proven very popular as a sub-category of Polynesian myths. (CLICK HERE )
TANGAHAU – In my opinion Tangahau is more like an Odysseus of Bellona and Rennell Islands than Takitaki (covered previously). However, Tangahau’s reputation as a wanderer originally from the Duff Islands seems to tip the balance to Takitaki. Here’s a brief look at Tangahau’s cycle of myths.
If there is enough interest I will do one of my exhaustively detailed examinations, like with Nayanazgeni in Navajo myths, Pele and Hi’iaka from Hawaiian myths, Mwindo from Africa or Baybayan from the Philippines and so many others that I’ve covered.
I) On Taumako Island, Tangahau, a sea captain renowned for his raids on many islands, was preparing for another voyage. The young bachelor’s mother was crying and rending her ears in sorrow since she knew every one of his dangerous journeys might be his last.
II) Tangahau and his crew, which included the priest Nasiu and his son, set out and eventually passed between two flaming islands which Nasiu warned were one of the entrances to the realm of the dead. (Rationalizations of the flaming islands of this tale attribute them to volcanic activity during the early stages of island formation.)
III) Next the voyagers spotted Rennell Island off in the distance. Like many ancient mariners they at first mistook it for an enormous whale. As they drew closer, they spotted Mount Gugha and realized their mistake. They determined to stop and mount a raid. Continue reading
FOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S FULL LIST OF GODS FROM BELLONA AND RENNELL ISLANDS CLICK HERE
TEHAINGA’ATUA – The Chief of the sky gods in Bellona and Rennell (Bel-Ren) mythology. Tehainga’atua ruled the stars, which Bel-Ren astrologers read to determine when (they believed) the sky-god would command particular stars to unleash dangerous seas, rain and thunder storms plus hurricanes. Earthquakes would be unleashed on the two islands by Mahuike, another of Tehainga’atua’s subordinate deities.
Because this deity could dispense or withhold life-giving rains he was often appealed to in rituals. Like Kane/Tane in other Polynesian Islands, Tehainga’atua ruled over wild plant life. Gnetum costatum plants were considered to be “the hair of Tehainga’atua.”
Tehainga’atua’s parents were the goddess N’guatupu’a and the god Tepoutu’uingangi. In some traditions they are his grandparents instead. His wife (and sister) was the goddess Sikingimoemoe. His children included the god Tehu’aingabenga and other district or clan deities. Some traditions hold that those gods are instead his grandchildren. Continue reading
EKEITEHUA – (Also called Singano) This major deity was the god of the northwest wind and was also the main district deity of the Iho (Taupongi) Clan, the archrivals of the Kaitu’u Clan since those two clans are the last survivors of the original eight traditional clans.
Ekeitehua’s celestial home was the far-off land called Mungingangi. This home lay on the horizon to the northwest of Bel-Ren and was the source of the Nohotonu Wind, which Ekeitehua controlled. The Bel-Ren people were undecided on whether or not Mungingangi was above the horizon, below it or on some plane equivalent to it.
Ekeitehua was the son of the god Sikingingangi, having been born from Sikingingangi’s feces, which were yams. Ekeitehua’s sister Teu’uhi the goddess of insanity was also born from their father’s feces/yams and their adopted mother was the goddess ‘Iti’iti. Continue reading