Moai Moai facing inland at Ahu Tongariki, restored by Chilean archaeologist Claudio Cristino in the 1990s Moai i/ˈmoʊ.aɪ/, or mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people from rock on the Chilean Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-eighths the size of the whole statue. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors (aringa ora ata tepuna). The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island, but most were cast down during later conflicts between clans. Description The moai are monolithic statues, their minimalist style related to forms found throughout Polynesia. Six of the fifteen moai at Ahu Tongariki Characteristics Eyes Symbolism Dr.
Celtic mythology Overview Though the Celtic world at its apex covered much of western and central Europe, it was not politically unified nor was there any substantial central source of cultural influence or homogeneity; as a result, there was a great deal of variation in local practices of Celtic religion (although certain motifs, for example the god Lugh, appear to have diffused throughout the Celtic world). Inscriptions of more than three hundred deities, often equated with their Roman counterparts, have survived, but of these most appear to have been genii locorum, local or tribal gods, and few were widely worshipped. However, from what has survived of Celtic mythology, it is possible to discern commonalities which hint at a more unified pantheon than is often given credit. Celtic mythology is found in a number of distinct, if related, subgroups, largely corresponding to the branches of the Celtic languages: Historical sources Irish mythology Cuchulainn carries Ferdiad across the river
Greek mythology Greek mythology is explicitly embodied in a large collection of narratives, and implicitly in Greek representational arts, such as vase-paintings and votive gifts. Greek myth attempts to explain the origins of the world, and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, and mythological creatures. These accounts initially were disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition; today the Greek myths are known primarily from Greek literature. Archaeological findings provide a principal source of detail about Greek mythology, with gods and heroes featured prominently in the decoration of many artifacts. Geometric designs on pottery of the eighth century BC depict scenes from the Trojan cycle as well as the adventures of Heracles. Sources Literary sources The poetry of the Hellenistic and Roman ages was primarily composed as a literary rather than cultic exercise. Archaeological sources Survey of mythic history Origins of the world and the gods
Irish mythology Bunworth Banshee The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity. However, much of it was preserved in medieval Irish literature, though it was shorn of its religious meanings. This literature represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branches of Celtic mythology. Although many of the manuscripts have not survived and much more material was probably never committed to writing, there is enough remaining to enable the identification of distinct, if overlapping, cycles: the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle and the Historical Cycle. The sources The three main manuscript sources for Irish mythology are the late 11th/early 12th century Lebor na hUidre which is in the library of the Royal Irish Academy, the early 12th century Book of Leinster in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, and the Rawlinson manuscript B 502 (Rawl.), housed in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. Ulster cycle
Aztec mythology Mictlantecuhtli (left), god of death, the lord of the Underworld and Quetzalcoatl (right), god of wisdom, life, knowledge, morning star, patron of the winds and light, the lord of the West. Together they symbolize life and death. Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. The Aztecs were Nahuatl speaking groups living in central Mexico and much of their mythology is similar to that of other Mesoamerican cultures. According to legend, the various groups who were to become the Aztecs arrived from the north into the Anahuac valley around Lake Texcoco. The location of this valley and lake of destination is clear – it is the heart of modern Mexico City – but little can be known with certainty about the origin of the Aztec. The Mexica/Aztec were said to be guided by their god Huitzilopochtli, meaning "Left-handed Hummingbird" or "Hummingbird from the South." Creation myth Pantheon Bibliography Grisel Gómez Cano (2011).
Scottish mythology Scottish mythology may refer to any of the mythologies of Scotland. Myths have emerged for various purposes throughout the history of Scotland, sometimes being elaborated upon by successive generations, and at other times being completely rejected and replaced by other explanatory narratives. National mythology Several origin legends for the Scots were created during the historical period, serving various purposes. One Scottish origin legend, or pseudo-historical account of the foundation of the Scottish people, appears in adapted form in the tenth-century Latin Life of St. Once the Picts adopted Gaelic culture and their actual characteristics faded out of memory, folkloric elements filled the gaps of history. Ulster Cycle Because of the movement of people from Ulster to west Scotland, which resulted in close linguistic links between Ulster and the west of Scotland much of Gaelic mythology was imported to Scotland and possibly some of it written in Scotland. See also
Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period. The Romans usually treated their traditional narratives as historical, even when these have miraculous or supernatural elements. The stories are often concerned with politics and morality, and how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, and by the later artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors. The nature of Roman myth Founding myths Other myths Religion and myth Foreign gods
Hebridean mythology and folklore The Inner and Outer Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland are made up of a great number of large and small islands. These isolated and mostly uninhabited islands are the source of a number of Hebridean myths and legends. It is a part of Scotland which has always relied on the surrounding sea to sustain the small communities which have occupied parts of the islands for centuries, therefore, it is natural that these seas are a source for many of these legends. Water Spirits Kelpies Kelpies were said to occupy several lochs, including one at Leurbost. Blue Men The Blue Men of the Minch (also known as storm kelpies), who occupy the stretch of water between Lewis and mainland Scotland, looking for sailors to drown and stricken boats to sink. Seonaidh (Shonny) Seonaidh - a water-spirit who had to be offered ale. Merpeople It has been claimed that there is a mermaid's grave in Benbecula, but the exact location is unknown. Water Monsters Loch Monsters
Native American mythology Coyote and Opossum appear in the stories of a number of tribes. The mythologies of the indigenous peoples of North America comprise many bodies of traditional narratives associated with religion from a mythographical perspective. Indigenous North American belief systems include many sacred narratives. Such spiritual stories are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky and fire. The principle of an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit, a connection to the Earth, diverse creation narratives and collective memories of ancient ancestors are common. Algonquian (northeastern US, Great Lakes) Plains Natives Blackfoot mythology – A North American tribe who currently live in Montana. Muskogean (southern US) and Iroquois (Eastern US) Alaska and Canada Pacific Northwest Uto-Aztecan (Great Basin to Mexico) Other southwestern US Central America South America Colin F.
Welsh mythology The prose stories from the White and Red Books are known as the Mabinogion, a title given to them by their first translator, Lady Charlotte Guest, and also used by subsequent translators. Poems such as Cad Goddeu (The Battle of the Trees) and mnemonic list-texts like the Welsh Triads and the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain, also contain mythological material. These texts also include the earliest forms of the Arthurian legend and the traditional history of post-Roman Britain. Other sources include the 9th century Latin historical compilation Historia Britonum (the History of the Britons) and Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th-century Latin chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae (the History of the Kings of Britain), as well as later folklore, such as The Welsh Fairy Book by W. Jenkyn Thomas . Welsh history, before the Romans, was learned orally by the Druids on fifteen-year apprenticeships. Legends Four Branches of the Mabinogi Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed