Tag Archives: mythology

6 MEMORABLE FOOL KILLER TALES FROM AMERICAN FOLKLORE

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

9 Comments

Filed under Mythology

GODS AND GODDESSES OF FIJI

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

15 Comments

Filed under Mythology

NINETEEN GODS OF THE NYANGA PEOPLE

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

6 Comments

Filed under Mythology

FOOL KILLER FIFTY-EIGHT: AUGUST 1912

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 with staff and Bowie knifePART 58 – Here are some of the targets of James Larkin Pearson’s version of The Fool-Killer from August of 1912.

*** Ex-Senator William Lorimer of Illinois. The previous month the Senate expelled Lorimer for ELECTORAL CORRUPTION, then as now a glaring problem in America. Investigations into the Lorimer scandal had been dragging on since 1910.

*** Republican President William Howard Taft, whom former President Theodore Roosevelt had come out of retirement to challenge as a Third Party candidate because of Taft being just a front man and stooge for Big Money interests and the Monopolies. In this 3-way race Democrat Woodrow Wilson wound up as the winner. FOR MY LOOK AT THIS BATTLE OF THE THREE PRESIDENTS CLICK HERE.

              Pearson and his Fool Killer supported Roosevelt but recognized that with the anti-Wilson vote divided between Taft and Roosevelt that Wilson would likely win.

*** The Associated Press, which, as usual, he referred to as “the ASS-ociated Press,” for its groveling coverage of the pregnancy of bloated rich pig Vivian Gould, a celebrity descendant of the Goulds who once helped wreck the U.S. economy in the 1800s. Sort of like how the repulsive Bush Family was tied to the Savings & Loan disaster of decades ago via Neil Bush. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion

NAVAJO EPIC MYTH – THE WAR GOD VS THE ANAYE

nayanazgeni the navajo god of war

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 

III. VISIONS OF THE SPIDER GODDESS – The war god and his brother set out on a quest to meet their father, the sun god Tsohanoai, and encounter the Spider Goddess – Naste Estsan – who foresees the dangers of their upcoming journey and bestows upon them magical implements to aid them- click HERE    Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Mythology

JAPAN’S HILARIOUSLY WEIRD 1861 LOOK AT AMERICAN HISTORY

My fellow fans of J-Horror know that Japan practically invented weirdness. What none of us knew is how far back they go with that mastery of entertaining madness.

John Adams fighting a giant snakeTheir view of American history is mind-boggling. This 1861 work of “J-History” if you will, features little-known events like JOHN ADAMS FACING A GIANT SNAKE (left) and George Washington fighting a tiger. It also corrects the mistaken assumption that Washington’s wife was named Martha when her real name was apparently “Carol.” (?)  

Balladeer’s Blog’s Presidential Action and Horror Films bit only WISHES it could be this mind-bending. Credit Nick Kapur with drawing attention to this item from the Waseda University Library.

My favorite part: the illustration of Benjamin Franklin casually HOLDING A CANNON IN HIS ARMS while firing it at a squadron of Red Coats! Now that’s badass. And begs for a movie – “The Rock IS Benjamin Franklin!” And he’d have to follow up blowing away the Brits with an action hero quip like “A penny saved is a penny earned, you bastards!”  

Every single page of this acid trip Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Mythology, Neglected History

PELE AND HI’IAKA – EPIC OF HAWAII

The Hawaiian epic myth about the fire & volcano goddess Pele and her sister Hi’iaka is a masterpiece of storytelling.

PELE

PELE

PART ONE

On the Big Island of Hawaii the fire and volcano goddess Pele was relaxing with her younger sister Hi’iaka, the goddess of pathways and wayfarers. Hi’iaka was watching two Hawaiian women performing a Hula dance dedicated to Laka, the goddess of love, beauty and fertility and the deity who had invented Hula dancing. 

Despite Hi’iaka’s excited praising of the dancing girls’ talents Pele found herself bored by the proceedings and fell asleep. Laka, enjoying the dance and the traditional post-dance offerings to her, felt disrespected by Pele’s inattention. Using her powers as the goddess of love she sent a dream to the sleeping Pela – a dream that would have far-reaching consequences and forever change the relationship between the fire goddess and her sister Hi’iaka. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Mythology

FOOL KILLER FIFTY-SEVEN: JULY OF 1912

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 garbPART 57 – Some of the Fool Killer’s targets in the July 1912 edition of James Larkin Pearson’s version of The Fool-Killer. As I always point out, Pearson was difficult to categorize, which makes things interesting because he combines what we think of as left-wing and right-wing attitudes.

*** As an example of what might be labeled a left-wing viewpoint, Pearson and his Fool Killer targeted One Percenters like today’s Bush Family, Biden Family, Big Tech Fascists, etc. His 1912 way of putting it was to point out the difference between the Ninety-Nine Percent, or “the ninety and nine” among the working class and the poor, and “the one” or One Percenters who exploit the ninety and nine.

*** As an example of what might be labeled a right-wing viewpoint, Pearson and his Fool Killer pushed the virtues of religion and sticking to the teachings of Jesus.

*** The Fool Killer targeted traveling snake-oil salesmen, who in 1912 still roamed the country with their rip-off “medicines” of dubious content. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Mythology, Neglected History, opinion

MWINDO – EPIC MYTH OF AFRICA

Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of an epic myth of the Nyanga people of Africa.

PART ONE

MwindoMwindo is yet another semi-divine hero from global mythology. This epic will explore his unusual birth, his heroic deeds and victories over various monsters and hostile gods.

Many of the myths from Africa survived mostly in oral form until comparatively recent decades, so there are even more variations of African epics than readers may be used to. To cite just one example: Mwindo himself is usually referred to by the epithet Kabutwa-kenda, “the little one just born yet walking”. However there are a few versions of the myth in which Mwindo and Kabutwa-kenda are TWO SEPARATE FIGURES and are half-brothers.

masc graveyard smallerIn the versions where they are two separate entities Mwindo is a villainous figure while Kabutwa-kenda is the main hero of the epic. Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will be reminded of the Navajo twin gods Nayanazgeni and Thobadzistsini. Nayanazgeni was usually the hero of the epic about the defeat of the evil gods called the Anaye but in the Apache version of the myth his brother Thobadzistsini is the hero and Nayanazgeni is reduced to being a comic relief coward. 

To stay in the area of comparative mythology for a moment Mwindo also shares qualities with the Sumerian demigod Gilgamesh. Like Gilgamesh, Mwindo goes from being brashly overconfident about his own supernatural powers to becoming a more humble hero and more capable ruler as the tale goes on.

The Mwindo Epic begins in the village of Tubondo, surrounded by raphia trees and located on a high hill. The founder and Chief of the village was named Shemwindo and he had seven wives because the Nyanga considered seven to be the number of perfection. Nyanga villages had seven separate kinship halls even if there were not seven separate kinship groups in the village. This was done out of deference to the sheer perfection of the number seven.  Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Mythology

TWELVE DEITIES FROM INUIT MYTHOLOGY

 Inuit mythology is almost criminally neglected. Personally I find it  fascinating and there is a  wealth of underappreciated information to be passed along. Inuit is the term used now, largely replacing  ”eskimo”  which was a pejorative term coined by the Algonquin Indians long ago. The geographical area of the Inuit myths ranges from Siberia across the Bering Strait through Alaska, Canada and Greenland. Names used for the following deities vary across that vast area. Some Inuit settlements like Ayaatayat (near present- day Cape Denbigh) date back 10,000 years. The Inuit were often at war with various Native American tribes and, as a testament to the  fighting  ability of the ancient Inuits they drove the Vikings themselves out of part of Greenland. The Inuit deities are as fascinating as the figures in any other pantheon.

12. NARSSUK – The god of the west wind and a son of the god Sila. Narssuk was depicted as an enormous infant whose winds were generated by the flapping of his caribou- skin diaper. In some versions the goddess Pukimna made the diaper for him. Narssuk supposedly would Continue reading

28 Comments

Filed under Mythology