Balladeer’s Blog’s recent examination of the myths of Bellona Island and Rennell Island has been pretty popular. Here is a look at the god Kaitahitahi. FOR THE FULL LIST OF BEL-REN GODS CLICK HERE
KAITAHITAHI – A very unusual deity who had a peculiar specialty. Kaitahitahi would cure constipation, which, joking aside, CAN be fatal if not treated properly. This god would be invoked to clean out the bowels of a person already afflicted with constipation (think of the Disemboweling Goddess from Inuit myths) and would be prayed to in order to prevent people from becoming constipated in the first place. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s recent examination of the myths of Bellona Island and Rennell Island has been pretty popular. Here is an extended look at Mautikitiki, the Bel-Ren equivalent of Maui. FOR THE FULL LIST OF BEL-REN GODS CLICK HERE
MAUTIKITIKI – The most popular of the Bel-Ren divine entities classified as Kakai. Obviously this brother of Sina was the Bel-Ren counterpart to Maui (Hawaiian) and Ti’i Ti’i (Samoan). Like those figures Mautikitiki was famous for fishing up islands – in his case Rennell Island.
In Bel-Ren myths Bellona Island was the upper part of the shell of an enormous sea-snail, similar to Iroquois myths in which the world rests on the back of an enormous turtle. Bellona was considered the center of the entire world – an example of the type of ethnic chauvinism common to nearly ALL belief systems.
Rennell Island was beneath the waves and was the special hideaway of Mautikitiki’s father ‘Atanganga, from whose feces he was born. Resenting the way his father kept hiding from him, Mautikitiki created the first canoe, fished up the island and from then on Rennell has been on the surface of the ocean. Continue reading
In 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.
MAHUIKE – 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. After that the quakes caused by Mahuike were never as severe. (In Hawaiian versions it is Maui who breaks the earthquake god’s arm off and in Samoan versions it is Ti’i Ti’i who does it. Bel-Ren myths do feature the figure Mautikitiki but he is less prominent than Tehu’aingabenga.)