Tag Archives: Myths

TWENTY MORE HAWAIIAN GODS AND GODDESSES

hawaiianislandsBalladeer’s Blog’s Top Twenty Lists For 2020 theme continues with this look at 20 more Hawaiian deities. FOR THE ORIGINAL LIST OF HAWAIIAN GODS AND GODDESSES CLICK HERE

OPUHALA – The goddess of coral, coral reefs and canoe bailers. Because of the sharp, abrasive nature of coral, fish with spiny scales were also considered to be under her rule. She was the daughter of the sea god Kanaloa and the aunt of the demigod Maui. In some traditions it is said she provided enormous jagged chunks of coral for Maui to use as hooks when he was fishing up islands.  

KALAIPAHOA – The Hawaiian poison god. His images were always carved from the nioi, a poisonous pepper tree sacred to him. He was believed to be able to ride comets across the sky. Kalaipahoa was originally worshipped only on the island of Molokai but his worship spread to all the other Hawaiian Islands after their unification into a single kingdom under Kamehameha I. Oddly, this god is also associated with gamblers.     Continue reading

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END OF THE WORLD MYTH: TELESPHORUS

telesphorusWe’re in the midst of another surge in end of the world nonsense with assorted unstable people claiming the world will end in 12 years or less. Balladeer’s Blog has often examined some of the countless end of the world scares of the past.

Telesphorus of Cosenza (generally believed to be a pseudonym) threw his nutzoid writings on the subject into the mix around the 1350’s or 1360’s (estimates vary).  Continue reading

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ANGUTA: INUIT DEITY

Detailed entry on the father of the sea goddess Sedna. For more entries on the gods and goddesses of Inuit mythology click here: https://glitternight.com/inuit-myth/

Inuit regionANGUTA – This father of the sea goddess Sedna was originally the god who ruled over Pugtulik Island. He was responsible for inflicting punishments on deserving souls when they reached Sedna’s subaquatic realm of the dead.

At the dawn of time, after his unruly daughter devoured both of her mother’s arms and had consumed one of Anguta’s own, he took her out in a canoe to abandon her at sea in the apotheotic event that saw Sedna’s ascension to sea goddess. Continue reading

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GODS OF BELLONA AND RENNELL ISLANDS

bellona-and-rennellIn the style of Balladeer’s Blog’s separate examinations of Hawaiian and Samoan myths as a subset of Polynesian Mythology comes this look at the deities worshipped on the Polynesian outliers Bellona Island and Rennell Island. Despite its much smaller size Bellona had a larger population for much of their history.

NGE’OBIONGO – The goddess of the stone ovens used by the people of Rennell and Bellona. The ovens were shown such reverence that it was forbidden to eat near them or to scatter firewood or even to speak in raised voices in their vicinity. Nge’obiongo would punish anyone who violated those taboos, just as she punished women who were bad or lazy cooks or who prepared meals without first properly cleaning their hands.

Undercooking the food would also invite this deity’s wrath. On rare occassions some of the prepared food would be left in the ovens as an offering to Nge’obiongo.

bellona-and-rennell-world-heritageMAHUIKE – The earthquake god of Bellona and Rennell Islands (henceforth Bel-Ren). Like his counterparts in Hawaii and Samoa, Mahuike lived far underground and caused earthquakes by pushing at the earth with both of his arms.

Once, after a particularly destructive earthquake, the god Tehu’aingabenga fought Mahuike for injuring his worshippers and broke off one of the earthquake god’s arms. Continue reading

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CHARLEMAGNE: HOW ROLAND AND OGIER BECAME PALADINS

CharlemagneThough Charlemagne was a real historical figure, a body of folkore has risen around him and his Paladins (knights). Part of that folklore was that the Pope crowned Charlemagne as the new Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, even though the crowning really took place the following February. Since the story of Charlemagne’s crowning as Emperor was told as a Christmas story for centuries I always use Christmas time to examine him and his Paladins.

To start Round Three of Balladeer’s Blog’s look at Charlemagne lore I’ll examine some tales of the young Roland (Orlando to the Italians). Last December I covered Charlemagne’s reunion with his long-lost sister and her son Roland.

Roland storyHOW ROLAND AND OGIER BECAME PALADINS – The Emperor could not expect his nephew to immediately step into service as a Paladin, since he had a great deal to learn. Charlemagne placed him as a Page in the household of Duke Namo of Bavaria, where Roland began his career alongside many other young nobles.

Roland had to learn to curb his independent ways since he had up until then done as he pleased while stealing to feed himself and his mother. The young man adjusted, and learned courtly ways so well that he became a favorite of Duke Namo.

At age fourteen Roland became a Squire and began training for warfare in earnest. He learned how to handle swords and lances and how to care for the armor of the Paladin he served as a Squire. Horsemanship, hunting and swimming were also part of his education. Continue reading

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WOI: EPIC HERO OF LIBERIA

LiberiaBalladeer’s Blog presents another neglected epic myth from around the world. In this case, Liberia’s Woi Epic of the Kpelle people.

The Woi Epic is often studied for its use of music, dance, singing and audience participation to reflect the action in the story. Think of it as a combination opera, ballet, live drama and Rocky Horror Picture Show screening.

The order of the episodes in the epic is not set in stone and a performance may include only a few of the episodes, all of them or just one. The finish of each episode is marked by the performer(s) announcing “Dried millet, wese” to which the audience repeats simply “wese.”  

ONE – Woi, a culture deity and master of ritual magic, and his wife Gelengol are the only living things that exist. After Woi impregnates his wife she eventually gives birth to human beings, chickens, goats, cows, sheep and, after all other life-forms, spiders. (Plenty of African myths feature a female deity giving birth to multiple living creatures and many feature the woman also giving birth to tools and weapons and utensils.)    

TWO – Woi notes that the demonic figure Yele-Walo has stolen one of his bulls by sneaking up on it in the form of a rattan plant. Yele-Walo took the bull with him to his hideaway “behind the sky.” Woi prepares for battle and is aided by squirrel-monkeys, tsetse flies and horse-flies. Yele-Walo also steels himself for the upcoming fight. Continue reading

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SHINTO DEITY: KUYEBIKO

 Kuyebiko was the Shinto scarecrow god. Originally he functioned as the protector of the rice fields, a task assigned him by his father Inari the rice god. 

He was considered to be incarnate in all scarecrows and eventually came to be  considered as a divinitory deity who knew everything that transpired under the heavens.

The leap from being the god of scarecrows to divinitory deity came about because of the never- closing eyes of scarecrows. Continue reading

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