Tag Archives: mythology


Balladeer's Blog

Balladeer’s Blog

Balladeer’s Blog’s examinations of pantheons of deities outside of the frequently-covered Greco-Roman, Egyptian and Norse have been very popular and well-received. To make sure all mythology buffs who visit here are aware of how many belief systems I’ve looked at here’s a convenient overview.


Sampling of Deities: Shiramba the vegetation god, Hashinau-Uk the goddess of the hunt, Okikurmi the culture god and monster-slayer, Wakka-Ush the water goddess and Kando-Koro the sky god and ruler of the land of the gods.

Top Deity on List: Fuchi the fire goddess. 

Comment: This is one of the most popular of the out of the way pantheons I’ve covered.

FULL LIST CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2014/11/20/the-top-gods-in-ainu-mythology/

Tupari live near the Rio BrancoTUPARI

Sampling of Deities: Mulher the Earth goddess, Arkoanyo the bird god, Karam the sun goddess, Valedjad the storm god and Aunyaina the wild boar god.

Top Deity on List: Patobkia, the god who rules over the afterlife and the series of trials each soul undergoes.

Comment: With only thousands of the Tupari people left this is a sadly neglected pantheon of deities.

FULL LIST CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2013/04/02/the-top-ten-deities-in-tupari-mythology/ Continue reading


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 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.  Continue reading

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Aiwel Longar

Aiwel Longar

Once again Balladeer’s Blog examines a neglected epic myth from around the world. Previously I have dealt with epics from the Navajo, Vietnamese, Iroquois, Aztec, Hawaiian, Chinese and other belief systems.

The mythic tale of Aiwel Longar comes from the Dinka pantheon. Nhialic is the supreme deity to the Dinka and the first man and woman he created were Garang and Abuk. The Dinka people live in the Upper Nile in Sudan, as they have for centuries.


I often cover the way in which cultures which come into contact borrow mythic material from each other to embellish their own respective belief systems. The story of Aiwel Longar clearly influenced (and vice versa) Egyptian, Jewish, Christian and Muslim myths. It also bears striking similarities to the Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl.

PART ONE – Born as simply Aiwel, this figure was a gift from the god of the Nile River to Aiwel’s widowed and childless mother. The infant already had a full set of teeth when his mother picked him up out of the Nile River, where the river god had set him adrift.

Like many mythic figures Aiwel could Continue reading


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Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT IN THE 1850s, CLICK HERE 

Fool Killer graySome of the Fool Killer’s targets from the March of 1913 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer –

*** The ceremonies and participants involved in the March 4th inauguration. NOTE: It was not until the Franklin Roosevelt years that inaugurations changed to January. The Fool Killer attended in person, another difference from Charles Napoleon Bonaparte Evans’ original Fool Killer in the 1800s, who religiously avoided Washington DC for fear of being corrupted by setting foot there.

              In another turn of phrase that seemed almost modern day – like his coining of the term “Truth Bombs” in 1910 – Pearson’s Fool Killer titled his tale of Inauguration Day I Went, I Saw, I Spewed. Because Pearson and his Fool Killer despised both the outgoing William Howard Taft and the incoming Woodrow Wilson he described the swearing-in as Uncle Sam taking off a pair of dirty clothes, then putting them back on.

              He described the fools lining up for hours just to catch a glimpse of political figures as they paraded by, and sneered at the unseemly imperiousness of the inaugural ceremonies for a supposed democratic republic. (I agree.)

                           The Fool Killer also labeled the military band a “Murderer’s Union.” After additional insults regarding the pomp and circumstance and the “glittering generalities” of Wilson’s inaugural address, he moved on to other topics.   

Some of his other targets this month:

*** The toadying astrologer who prepared a horoscope of the “present and past lives” of the soon to be wed high society Helen Gould and Finley Shepard. In the kind of idiotic obsequiousness shown to celebrity couples of today, like the repulsive Harry and Meghan, the astrologer depicted the pair as soul-mates during the days of ancient Babylon, then Egypt, then the Roman Empire and so on to 1700s France and finally the present day. The Fool Killer wryly pointed out that money can even buy aggrandizing gibberish like this.    Continue reading


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Thank you to reader David Bovey for pointing out that I had not yet provided a list of links to every installment thus far in my look at the tales of Charlemagne and his Paladins.

charlemagne mapPALADINS OF CHARLEMAGNE – The fictional setting of the legends surrounding the real-life Charlemagne, plus the introduction of several of his Paladins (knights). Click HERE.

MORE PALADINS OF CHARLEMAGNE – Introducing a few more prominent characters from the Tales of Charlemagne. Click HERE

HOW ROLAND AND OGIER BECAME PALADINS – Answering a cry for help from the Pope, the Emperor Charlemagne leads his Frankish armies against the Muslim forces threatening Rome. During that military campaign Charlemagne’s nephew Roland and Ogier the Dane distinguish themselves and are invested as Paladins. Click HERE

CHARLOT’S VILLAINY – Charlemagne’s evil son Charlot plots to kill the Paladin named Ogier the Dane during the Emperor’s ongoing campaign against the Muslim armies that threaten the Pope and Rome. Click HERE

TWO ADVENTURES OF ROLAND – In the first adventure, the Paladin Roland faces a 14 feet tall giant. In the second adventure, during a war led by his uncle Charlemagne, Roland is reunited with his childhood friend Oliver. Click HERE.   Continue reading


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PaladinAs always, from December 1st through Twelfth Night (January 6th) Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at some of the old legends surrounding Charlemagne and his Paladins. These are the fictional tales about Charlemagne, so there will be magic and monsters included.

RolandTHE ENCHANTED GARDENS OF FALERINA – We pick up from last time as the Paladins Roland and Reinold are separately heading for the Gardens of Falerina to free all the warriors imprisoned there. Reinold (at last reunited with his faithful steed Bayard) was on this quest on behalf of the beautiful Flordelis, whose true love Florismart is among the prisoners.   

The gardens were inside the Castle of Falerina, which stood in the middle of a lake. The lone bridge leading to the castle was protected by Arridano, a mystically powered brute of a man who had to be overcome if one were to gain access to the bridge.

So far no one had been able to defeat him, and the captured arms and armor of all the men he had vanquished lay piled high on the lake shore as trophies. Reinold reached the bridge first and wasted no time in dismounting and attacking the ruffian, who wielded an iron mace against the Paladin.

Eventually the pair fell to grappling with one another and the bridge guardian held tight to Reinold and leaped with him into the lake. Once submerged the guard held an insurmountable advantage since he was able to breathe underwater and soon Reinold joined the other prisoners in the Gardens of Falerina. Continue reading


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CharlemagneAs regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know, December through Twelfth Night (January 6th) is the time of year in which I look at versions of the tales of Charlemagne and his Paladins. These are the legends about Charlemagne, not the actual history, so there will be dragons, monsters and magic. 


paladins fightingREINOLD BATTLES ROLAND – Regular readers will remember that when we left the Paladin named Reinold he was making his way on foot back to the Court of Charlemagne after escaping from Princess Angelica’s enchanted island.

Reinold crossed paths with a beautiful weeping woman named Flordelis, who begged the Paladin to help free her beloved Florismart from the clutches of Morgana, the Lady of the Lake. Reinold agreed, and Flordelis offered him her horse to ride. With the young woman seated behind him on the horse, Reinold rode off.

After a few hours’ ride, the pair came upon a cavern guarded by a 12 foot tall, club-wielding giant. Chained nearby was a griffin, who aided the giant in guarding the precious horse Rabican. Continue reading


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Fool Killer with staff and Bowie knifeAN ORIGIN FOR THE FOOL KILLER – In the 1830s a Devil mated with assorted women of East Tennessee’s “Hill Portughee (Portuguese)” and one of them bore him a son. The son grew up to drive that Devil out of the Tennessee hills after tricking his infernal father into forging an iron staff that he used as a weapon against him.

               That son then became the Fool Killer, using his iron staff/ walking stick/ club to prey on outsiders “foolish” enough to come looking for the hidden gold of the Melungeons in the eldritch Tennessee woodlands. He also battled federal agents trying to stop the Melungeons from printing their own gold coins.

Fool Killer wardrobeOPPOSING THE KU KLUX KLAN – In the Spring and Summer of 1870 the Fool Killer battled the KKK, whose violence in a few North Carolina counties had grown so extreme that the governor declared Martial Law. The folk figure opposed Klan influence in North Carolina politics as well as their brutal acts of maiming and killing people who opposed them. 

A FOOL KILLER CHRISTMAS – The Fool Killer spent the Christmas and New Year’s holiday of 1878 into 1879 roaming North Carolina. He struck down violent Millerite-style apocalypticists, recovered Christmas candy stolen from some Free Negro children, thwarted a serial rapist and dealt with a gang of outlaws who had served in North Carolina’s “Company Aytch” during the Civil War.    Continue reading


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Fiji IslandsIn 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. 

Fiji 2ALEWANISOSO – 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.

masc graveyard smallerROKOMAUTU – 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.  Continue reading


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Nyanga territoryAfter Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of the Mwindo Epic many readers expressed an interest in Nyanga mythology. I’m all about giving readers what they want so here are brief looks at the deities of the Nyanga people.

KATEE – The god of hedgehogs. Katee spoke through one of his animal avatars to warn the semidivine hero Mwindo about some of Kasiyembe’s death traps.

MWERI – The moon goddess. Her domain is the moon itself and is  composed of alternate hot, sandy wasteland and lush blue waters. Mweri sees everything that happens at night and therefore has ties to lovemaking, fertility, sleeping, thievery and assassinations. She can send dreams or nightmares as well as prophetic messages in those dreams. Visitors to Mweri’s domain can be left wandering in the hot wasteland or even set on fire by her, depending on the goddess’ whim.  Continue reading


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