Archive for the 'Polynesian' Category

Kapo

January 20th, 2010 by sabrina

I’m back from a fantastic vacation in Hawaii, so I wanted to return with a Hawaiian Goddess. We went to see Madame Pele, but alas, she seems to have been on vacation too—no lava! Ah well, we danced with Laka and reveled in the beauty of Hi’iaka. No sign of this Goddess, but maybe that’s a good thing—not sure that’s something I want my kids to see flying around!

KapoKapo is the Hawaiian Goddess of magic. She is the sister of Pele, Goddess of volcanoes, and mother of Laka, Goddess of the hula. Kapo was able to change her shape at will, but she is mostly known for another talent—she was able to detach her vagina from her body and send it where she liked. One time, she used her kohe lele (flying vagina) to save her sister Pele from being raped. Pele, wandering near her home at Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island, was being stalked by Kamapua’a, a God who was half man and half pig. Just as he was about to force himself on Pele, Kapo sensed her sister’s plight and threw her vagina past Kamapua’a’s face. He immediately forgot about Pele and started to chase Kapo’s vagina, following it all the way to the island of Oahu where it landed, forming the Koholepelepe Crater (more commonly known as Koko Crater) next to Hanauma Bay. The kohe lele then returned itself to Kapo, leaving Kamapua’a alone on the rocks. Kapo’s name, which means “darkness,” is also seen as Kapo-‘ula-kina’u (red-spotted Kapo), Kapo-kohe-lele (Kapo of the flying vagina), and Kapo-ma’i-lele (Kapo of the flying genitals).

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Satene

October 21st, 2009 by sabrina

sateneSatene is the Seram Goddess of the Underworld. The Seram people of Indonesia say that she was born from an unripe banana. When another Goddess, Hainuwele, was killed as a witch, the man who found her body, Ameta, took her arms to Satene. She created a spiral gate on the dancing ground where Hainuwele had been killed and stood in the center of it. Satene told the people that she was leaving the world and they would have to pass through the gate to see her again. The gate became the doorway to the Underworld, and those who were able to pass through when they died were reborn as people. Those who were unable to pass through were instead reincarnated as animals or remained on earth as spirits. When people did pass through, Satene would hit them with Hainuwele’s arms, and those who passed to her left formed one tribe, and those who passed to her right formed another. Satene’s name, which means “judgment,” is also seen as Mulua Satene.

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Bila

October 5th, 2009 by sabrina

bilaBila is the Australian Aboriginal Goddess of the sun. She was a cannibal who caught her human victims and roasted them over an open fire, which provided light for the world continuously. Kudnu, the Lizard Man, and Muda, the Gecko Man, decided to stop her from eating the people and Kudnu threw a boomerang at her and injured her. Bila turned into a ball of fire and fled the world, leaving it in darkness. Kudnu threw boomerangs to each of the directions to try and catch her, and the one that he threw to the east hit its mark. The ball of fire returned to the sky, traveling slowly from east to west, sinking below the horizon and returning in the east each day. Kudnu and Muda were celebrated for stopping the killing and for creating day and night, and from that time on, the people did not eat lizards or geckos in their honor.

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Rohe

September 8th, 2009 by sabrina

star-of-heavenRohe is the Maori Goddess of the fifth level of the Underworld. She was the sister of the sun and was very beautiful. Her husband Maui, however, was as ugly as Rohe was lovely, and he was jealous of her beauty. He suggested to her that they switch faces, and she refused. Maui cast a spell on Rohe to put her to sleep, and he made the switch. When Rohe woke and saw that she was now ugly, she left Maui and the world above and went to live in the darkness of the Underworld. She became the ruler of the fifth level, Uranga-o-Te-Ra. Rohe’s name, which means “homeland,” is also seen as Rohi.

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Hina-‘ulu-‘ohi’a

April 17th, 2009 by sabrina

ohiaHina-‘ulu-‘ohi’a is the Hawaiian Goddess of the ’ohi’a tree. On the island of Oahu, she is thought to be the wife of Ku-ka-‘ohi’a-laka, God of canoe builders, but on Maui she is the wife of Kaha’i, God of lightning. In legends, Hina-‘ulu-‘ohi’a protects children and appears as a beautiful woman covered in the leaves and red flowers of the ’ohi’a tree. The tree is sacred to both Hina-‘ulu-‘ohi’a and Ku-ka-‘ohi’a-laka, and special ceremonies must be performed before the flowers or leaves are gathered. Hina-‘ulu-‘ohi’a’s name means “woman of the ’ohi’a tree,” and she is also known as La-ea (in her aspect as Goddess of canoe builders) and Nahinahi-ana (in an aspect in which she dyed and stamped kapa, or bark cloth).

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Dilga

March 30th, 2009 by sabrina

star-of-heavenDilga is the Australian Aboriginal Goddess of fertility. Two of her sons, the Bagadjimbiri, were creator Gods who were born as dingos. When they took human form, they got into an argument with Ngariman, a cat-man. He found their laughter particularly irritating, and lured the brothers to his underground cave, where he killed them. Dilga, hearing of the murders, used her breast milk to form a stream that ran down to Ngariman’s cave and drowned him. The Bagadjimbiri were revived by Dilga’s milk. They turned into clouds and went to live in the sky.

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Horoirangi

February 11th, 2009 by sabrina

horoirangi2Horoirangi is the Maori Goddess of fertility. She was seen as the mother of all women. When this carved stone image of her which had been placed in a New Zealand museum was returned to its original location, the event was marked by an earthquake. Horoirangi guarded the fertility of the land, and offerings of the first fruits of the harvest and the first birds caught in a season were presented to her.

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Ha-pu’u

January 19th, 2009 by sabrina

star-of-heavenHa-pu’u is a Hawaiian dragon Goddess. She was one of the dragon Gods that Mo’o-inanea brought to Hawaii and settled with her on the island of Oahu. Along with the Goddess Hau-ola, she guards the cliff at the end of the Nuuanu Valley. She eventually assumed the form of a large stone, and it was customary to leave lehua flowers on the stone as offerings. Parents also buried the umbilical cords of their children under the stone to protect their babies from evil. The stones were destroyed by a bulldozer in 1953 when a road into the valley was built.

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Wuriupranili

December 24th, 2008 by sabrina

I couldn’t find a good public domain image for today’s Goddess, but there’s a fantastic one by Lisa Hunt on her website, here. Her artwork is just amazing, and she has a tarot deck based on fairy tales coming out in the new year that I’ll be watching for.

Wuriupranili is the Tiwi Goddess of the sun. Her brother, Purukupali, was the world’s first man and discovered how to make fire. He gave Wuriupranili a bark torch to keep the fire going. Each day she lights her torch and carries it across the sky. Before she leaves, she decorates her body with red ochre which gives color to the sunrise. When she reaches the western horizon, she again decorates herself, creating a beautiful sunset. She then douses her torch in the western sea, using the embers that remain to guide her under the earth back to the east. Wuriupranili’s name is also seen as Wuriupranala.

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Hau-ola

December 3rd, 2008 by sabrina

Hau-ola is a Hawaiian dragon Goddess. She was one of the dragon Gods that Mo’o-inanea brought to Hawaii and settled with her on the island of Oahu. Along with the Goddess Ha-pu’u, she guards the cliff at the end of the Nuuanu Valley. She eventually assumed the form of a large stone, and it was customary to leave ferns on the stone as offerings. Parents also buried the umbilical cords of their children under the stone to protect their babies from evil. The stones were destroyed by a bulldozer in 1953 when a road into the valley was built. Hau-ola’s name is also seen as Kalaihauola.

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