Micronesian mythology

Micronesian mythology comprises the traditional belief systems of the people of Micronesia. There is no single belief system in the islands of Micronesia, as each island region has its own mythological beings.

Region

Micronesia is a region in the southwest Pacific Ocean in a region known as Oceania. There are several island groups including the Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands, Mariana Islands, and Gilbert Islands. Traditional beliefs declined and changed with the arrival of Europeans in the 1520s. In addition, the contact with European cultures led to changes in local myths and legends.[1]

Federated States of Micronesia mythology

Anagumang was a (probably legendary) Yapese navigator who led an expedition in rafts and canoes five or six hundred years ago. On this expedition he discovered the islands of Palau, where he and his men first saw limestone.

Anulap is a god of magic and knowledge in the Truk Island mythology of Micronesia (Truk), who teaches these things to humanity. He is the husband of the creator goddess Ligobubfanu, and may be a creator deity himself.

Isokelekel (Pohnpeian: "shining noble," "wonderful king"),[2] also called Idzikolkol, was a semi-mythical hero warrior from Kosrae who conquered the Saudeleur rulers of Pohnpei, an island in the modern Federated States of Micronesia, sometime between the early 16th century and early 17th century.[3][note 1] Some Kosraean variants name this hero Nanparatak, with features closer to Ulithian tales of the same archetype.[7] He is considered the father of modern Pohnpei.[6]

Olifat [8] was a trickster god in Micronesian mythology. Olifat was the grandson of the god Anulap, the son of the god Lugeleng and the mortal Tarisso. Tarisso was the daughter of the octopus goddess Hit. When Lugeleng's wife did not attempt to prevent his union with Tarisso, Hit danced so lewdly that the woman fainted and had to be carried back to the sky, thus permitting Olifat's conception.[9][10]

Nauruan mythology

Areop-Enap played a major part in the creation of the world.

Mariana Islands mythology

House of Taga is located near San Jose Village, on the island of Tinian, United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in the Marianas Archipelago. The site is the location of a series of prehistoric latte stone pillars which were quarried about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) south of it. Only one pillar is left standing erect. The name is derived from a mythological chief named Taga', who is said to have erected the pillars as a foundation for his own house. Legend says Chief Taga was murdered by his daughter, and her spirit is imprisoned in the lone standing megalith at the site.

Gadao is a legendary chief of the village of Inarajan in southern Guam. In the Chamorro language of the ancient Mariana Islands, he would have had the title maga'lahi as a high-ranking male. In addition to being featured in legend, he is the namesake of Inarajan's Chief Gadao’s Cave containing ancient cave paintings. Some stories claim Gadao himself drew the figures.[11] Two legends featuring Chief Gadao include the Legend of the Three Feats of Strength and the Legend of the Battle Between Chiefs.

According with the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada Europeo-Americana, Sassalagohan is the name of Hell on the Mariana Islands' mythology.

Kiribati mythology

Auriaria is a red-haired giant chieftain who fell in love with the beautiful red-haired woman, Nei Tituaabine, but they had no children. Nei Tituaabine died and from her grave grew three trees—a coconut from her head, a pandanus from her heels and an almond from her navel. She became a tree goddess.

Kai-n-Tiku-Aba ("tree of many branches") is a sacred tree located in Samoa, which grew on the back of a man named Na Abitu. Koura-Abi, a destructive man, broke it. Sorrowful, the people of Samoa scattered across the world.

Uekera is a tree that reaches to the heavens, the "tree of knowledge" in Kiribati legend. It is said to have been planted in Buariki village in North Tarawa by Nei Tekanuea. It is the inspiration for the name of the Kiribati weekly newspaper, Te Uekera.

Notes

  1. ^ Legend generally dates the invasion in the 1500s,[4] however archaeologists date ruins to ca. 1628.[5][6]

Sources

  1. ^ Micronesian Mythology – Myth Encyclopedia by Jane Resture
  2. ^ Jones, Lindsay (2005). "Encyclopedia of Religion". 9 (2 ed.). Macmillan Reference. ISBN 0-02-865742-X. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  3. ^ Petersen, Glenn (1990). "Lost in the Weeds: Theme and Variation in Pohnpei Political Mythology" (PDF). Occasional Papers. Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Hawaiian, Asian & Pacific Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 35: 34 et seq. Retrieved 2011-12-31. |chapter= ignored (help)
  4. ^ Cordy, Ross H (1993). The Lelu Stone Ruins (Kosrae, Micronesia): 1978–81 Historical and Archaeological Research. Asian and Pacific Archaeology. Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa. pp. 14, 254, 258. ISBN 0-8248-1134-8. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  5. ^ Morgan, William N (1988). Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia. University of Texas Press. pp. 60, 63, 76, 85. ISBN 0-292-76506-1. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  6. ^ a b Panholzer, Tom; Rufino, Mauricio (2003). Place Names of Pohnpei Island: Including And (Ant) and Pakin Atolls. Bess Press. pp. xiii, 21, 22, 25, 38, 48, 56, 63, 71. 72, 74, 104. ISBN 1-57306-166-2. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  7. ^ Lessa, William Armand (1980). More Tales from Ulithi Atoll: a Content Analysis. Folklore and Mythology Studies. 32. University of California Press. pp. 73, 130. ISBN 0-520-09615-0. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  8. ^ Sheila Savill; Geoffrey Parrinder; Chris Cook; Lilian Mary Barker (18 September 1978). Pears encyclopaedia of myths and legends: Oceania and Australia, the Americas. Pelham. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7207-1050-2. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  9. ^ Patricia Monaghan (31 December 2009). Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines. ABC-CLIO. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-313-34990-4. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  10. ^ Valerie Estelle Frankel (19 October 2010). From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine's Journey Through Myth and Legend. McFarland. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-7864-4831-9. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2011-06-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  • Bo Flood, Beret E. Strong, William Flood, Micronesian Legends, Bess Press, 2002; ISBN 1573061298
  • Bo Flood, Marianas island legends: myth and magic, Bess Press, 2001; ISBN 1573061026
  • Bo Flood, Margo Vitarelli, From the Mouth of the Monster Eel: Stories from Micronesia, 1996; ISBN 1555912451

External links

Absolute (philosophy)

The concept of the Absolute, also known as The (Unconditioned) Ultimate, The Wholly Other, The Supreme Being, The Absolute/Ultimate Reality, The Ground of Being, Urgrund, The Absolute Principle, The Source/Fountain/Well/Center/Foundation of Reality, The Ultimate Oneness/Whole, The Absolute God of The Universe, and other names, titles, aliases, and epithets, is the thing, being, entity, power, force, reality, presence, law, principle, etc. that possesses maximal ontological status, existential ranking, existential greatness, or existentiality. In layman's terms, this is the entity that is the greatest, highest, or "truest" being, existence, or reality.

There are many conceptions of the Absolute in various fields and subjects, such as philosophy, religion, spiritual traditions, formal science (such as mathematics), and even natural science. The nature of these conceptions can range from "merely" encompassing all physical existence, nature, or reality, to being completely unconditioned existentially, transcending all concepts, notions, objects, entities, and types, kinds, and categories of being.

The Absolute is often thought of as generating manifestations that interact with lower or lesser types, kinds, and categories of being. This is either done passively, through emanations, or actively, through avatars and incarnations. These existential manifestations, which themselves can possess transcendent attributes, only contain minuscule or infinitesimal portions of the true essence of the Absolute.

The term itself was not in use in ancient or medieval philosophy, but closely related to the description of God as actus purus in scholasticism. It was introduced in modern philosophy, notably by Hegel, for "the sum of all being, actual and potential".

The term has since also been adopted in perennial philosophy.

Anagumang

Anagumang was a (probably legendary) Yapese navigator who led an expedition in rafts and canoes five or six hundred years ago. On this expedition he discovered the islands of Palau, where he and his men first saw limestone. Limestone did not exist on Yap. The Palauan natives let the Yapese quarry this limestone in return for coconut meat, beads and copra; as well as performing services. Anagumang and his men first quarried the rock to make fish-shapes, but then changed to making the huge rings which are now known as Rai stones, which were easier to transport. These were then used as currency on Yap, despite being very hard to carry around. After this expedition, the Yapese frequently quarried more of these stones as more money was needed.

First Anagumang ordered his men to cut stone into the shape of fish, then a crescent moon, and then a full moon with a hole in it for transport.

Anulap

Anulap is a god of magic and knowledge in the Truk Island mythology of Micronesia (Truk), who teaches these things to humanity. He is the husband of the creator goddess Ligobubfanu, and may be a creator deity himself. His son was Lugeilan, and his grandson was Olifat.

Gadao

Gadao is a legendary chief of the village of Inarajan in southern Guam. In the Chamorro language of ancient Guam, he would have had the title maga'lahi as a high-ranking male. In addition to being featured in legend, he is the namesake of Inarajan's Chief Gadao’s Cave containing ancient cave paintings. Some stories claim Gadao himself drew the figures.Two legends featuring Chief Gadao include the Legend of the Three Feats of Strength and the Legend of the Battle Between Chiefs.

House of Taga

The House of Taga (Chamoru: Guma Taga) is an archeological site located near San Jose Village, on the island of Tinian, United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in the Marianas Archipelago. The site is the location of a series of prehistoric latte stone pillars which were quarried about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) south of the site, only one of which is left standing erect due to past earthquakes. The name is derived from a mythological chief named Taga, who is said to have erected the pillars as a foundation for his own house.

Isokelekel

Isokelekel (Pohnpeian: "shining noble," "wonderful king"), also called Idzikolkol, was a semi-mythical hero warrior from Kosrae who conquered the Saudeleur Dynasty of Pohnpei, an island in the modern Federated States of Micronesia, sometime between the early 16th century and early 17th century. Some Kosraean variants name this hero Nanparatak, with features closer to Ulithian tales of the same archetype. He is considered the father of modern Pohnpei.There is great variation among sources for the exact events before and during the invasion on Pohnpei; there at least 13 differing accounts of the war published. In most versions of the Isokelekel legend, the Saudeleur rule had become oppressive under its abusive centralized social system, and its lords had offended the Thunder God Nan Sapwe, sealing the fate of the dynasty. Pohnpeian culture is heavily autonomous and decentralized, and quibbling directly and publicly over variations is considered bad form. The differences among the many accounts are further attributed to a wide range of cultural phenomena, from kava social groups to clan affiliation. Accordingly, any preferred version is generally the product of a measure of self-interest and autonomy.Modern chiefs of Pohnpei trace their lineage to Isokelekel, and according to this legend, modern Pohnpeians are descendants of Isokelekel's invasion party.

List of goddesses

This is a list of deities regarded as female or mostly feminine in gender.

List of nature deities

In nature worship, a nature deity is a deity in charge of forces of nature such as water deity, vegetation deity, sky deity, solar deity, fire deity or any other naturally occurring phenomena such as mountains, trees, or volcanoes. Accepted in panentheism, pantheism, deism, polytheism, animism, totemism, shamanism and paganism the deity embodies natural forces and can have characteristics of the mother goddess, Mother Nature or lord of the animals.

List of religions and spiritual traditions

While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a

[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.

Lugeilan

In Micronesian mythology, Lugeilan is the father of the god Olifat.

Micronesia

Micronesia ((UK: , US: ); from Greek: μικρός mikrós "small" and Greek: νῆσος nêsos "island") is a subregion of Oceania, composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a shared cultural history with two other island regions: Polynesia to the east and Melanesia to the south.

The region has a tropical marine climate and is part of the Oceania ecozone. There are four main archipelagos along with numerous outlying islands.

Micronesia is divided politically among several sovereign countries. One of these is the Federated States of Micronesia, which is often called "Micronesia" for short and is not to be confused with the overall region. The Micronesia region encompasses five sovereign, independent nations—the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Nauru—as well as three U.S. territories in the northern part: Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and Wake Island.

Micronesia began to be settled several millennia ago, although there are competing theories about the origin and arrival of the first settlers. The earliest known contact with Europeans occurred in 1521, when Spain reached the Marianas. The coinage of the term "Micronesia" is usually attributed to Jules Dumont d'Urville's usage in 1832; however, Domeny de Rienzi had used the term a year previously.

Motikitik

In Micronesian mythology, Motikitik is a mythological hero, famous for his fishing feats.

Nei Tituaabine

Nei Tituaabine, is a red-naired maiden in Micronesian mythology, specifically in Kiribati.

She fell in love with the giant haired-skinned chief, Auriaria, but they had no children. After her death, three trees grew from her grave: a coconut from her head, a pandanus from her heels and an almond from her navel. She became a tree goddess.

Olifat

Olifat (also known as Yelafath, Orofat, Iolofath or Wolphat) was a trickster god in Micronesian mythology.

Trickster

In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a character in a story (god, goddess, spirit, human, or anthropomorphisation), which exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behaviour.

Uekera

In the Micronesian mythology of Kiribati (formerly the Gilbert Islands) Uekera is a tree that reaches to the heavens; Te Kaintikuaba which is translated as the "tree of life" or "tree of knowledge" in Kiribati legend. It is said to have been planted in Buariki village in North Tarawa by Nei Tekanuea. The creation story is that spirits who lived in Te Kaintikuaba in Samoa, migrated northward carrying branches from the tree and created the islands of Tungaru (the Gilberts). It is the inspiration for the name of the Kiribati weekly newspaper, Te Uekera.

Mythology by region
Oceanian gods
Oceanian goddesses
Creatures & spirits

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.