The Tupari of Brazil had a very rich pantheon of deities. For the full list click HERE This blog post looks at the Soul’s Journey after death.
THE SOUL’S JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF THE DEATH-GOD PATOBKIA – Like many other groups of people the Tupari distinguished between an animating force and an actual spirit.
After death, while the spirit, or Pabid, proceeds to the land ruled by the god Patobkia, the Kiapoga , the animating force or “ghost” remains in the heart of the dead human. Eventually it bursts from the heart like a bird from an egg. The village shamans clean the Kiapoga, shape its clay-like form to resemble the deceased, and then release the ghost, which forever floats invisibly in the air near the place of death.
The Pabid, meanwhile, journeys far away from the land of the living, completely blind as it makes its way. First it proceeds over the backs of two gigantic male and female crocodiles. The male crocodile attacks the moon god Puepa at times, causing eclipses of the moon, and the female crocodile attacks the sun goddess Karam at other times, causing eclipses of the sun. Though Puepa and Karam are both elderly they are still powerful – Karam more than Puepa in fact – and always drive the crocodiles away eventually. Continue reading
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The people of Fiji believed in an epic journey for the souls of the deceased. That journey is even more detailed than the Soul’s Journey envisioned by the Tupari of Brazil.
I. For four days the spirit of the deceased lingers in the vicinity of its host body’s death. Then it begins the long and perilous journey to Mbulu, the land of the dead.
II. Upon reaching the headlands at Naithobokoboko the spirit encounters the goddess LEWALEVU. This deity tries to prevent the soul from proceeding unless she is propitiated by offerings of leaves.
III. If the deceased successfully passes Lewalevu it next encounters the sandalwood tree at Vuniyasikinikini. The spirit is required to pinch the bark of the Yasi/ sandalwood tree with its fingernails.
If the nails are long and sharp enough to sink into the bark it proves the person did not do much fighting or hard work in life. If its nails are short and dull it proves the deceased worked and fought hard in life and may continue their journey.
IV. Next awaits the goddess NANG-GA NANG-GA, the Devourer of Bachelors. Nang-ga Nang-ga sits on a black rock by the edge of the sea. On one side of her stone perch lap the ocean’s waves and on the other side steep jagged cliffs jut up to the skies. Continue reading