Some of the Buyi's goddesses

 


Some Some of the fundamental myths of the Buyi, such as the creation of the world, the creation of people, or that of the flood, are not the same among all the Buyi peoples. This could be due to long separation between different groups, or to the inclusion in the name "Buyi" of several different ethnic groups.

Many of the myths of the Buyi arise from their desire to understand the reality that surrounds them. They consider, taking as a model human beings, that all things in nature have their own life and will. In fact, in one of their myths of the creation of the world, the sun, the moon, the stars, the winds and the rain; all are born from sexual interaction between natural phenomena and a woman.

One of the ceremonies that best reflects the religious spirit of the Buyi, is that called "Ceremony of requesting descendant" This entails a series of ceremonies that worship 36 different deities, and lasts for seven days and seven nights. They begin by worshipping the Mother Goddess who has the power to regulate births. Then they continue by worshipping the Goddess of the Forest of Flowers since, according to Buyi belief, children are like flowers and she is the goddess in charge of distributing offspring to humans.

A small pig is sacrificed to each one of the 36 goddesses. The offerings that go to the different deities diminish according to their importance. Some of them will receive a hen, others a chicken, others maybe an egg or a piece of meat.

Among the many feminine deities in the Buyi pantheon, some of the most interesting are the twelve Mother Goddesses. They play a role similar to that of guardian angels in the Catholic tradition. They are in charge of protecting children until they reach the age of twelve.

Until that age, if a boy becomes sick, or suffers some small misfortune, it is thought that it is because he has not worshipped these goddesses correctly. His parents will call a yaya (female shaman) to carry out the necessary appeasement ceremonies. These mother goddesses are distributed in a geographic manner. So they are named the Mother Goddess of the Bed, the Mother Goddess of the Fields, the Mother Goddess of the Hills, the Mother Goddess of the Rivers, and so forth. It is supposed that each one protects the children in the territory that they govern.

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