February 20, 2012

Hari Ragat: Of Men, Gods and Spirits III

In this post I’ll talk some more about the beings worshipped by the Vijadesans, in particular the Lakandiwa, the ‘noble ones.’ 

The Vijadesan pantheon can be broken down into two divisions: the primal gods of nature and natural forces, comprising the great Batarahs and the local diwatas, and the gods of mankind, comprising the anito ancestors and the lakandiwa. 

The lakandiwa are literally hybrids, being descended from human-Batarah or human-diwata unions, and are also hybrids in their roles, for they are the gods of human activity.  Among the lakandiwa are the great culture heroes, the gods of love, war, childbirth, healing, etc. etc.  They are, in effect, super-ancestors whom everyone worships for their contributions to human life.

Some lakandiwas are also invoked for protection against malevolent or mischievous nature spirits, and their power is held to begin where nature ends and man’s domain starts – the raised edges of rice paddies, fences, the walls of houses, etc. etc.

Marc and I came up with the concept of the lakandiwa as we were finalizing the pantheon.  While gods like Bathala and Mayari were easily classified as nature deities, we had gods like Idiyanale and Lakanbakod who were clearly not. 

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