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Glossary
Find the meanings of abnormal words or acronyms in our glossary!
 
Oceania Deities
OCEANIA (PACIFIC ISLANDS AND AUSTRALIA)

AGUNUA (Solomon Islands) Serpent god. All other gods are only an aspect of Agunua. The first coconut from each tree is sacred to Agunua.

ALULUEI (Micronesia) God of knowledge and navigation. Aluluei has two faces, one to see where he is going, the other to see where he has been. Aluluei makes his home on sandbars.

BUNJIL (Australian) A sky god. Bunjil made men out of clay while his brother, Bat, made women out of water. To mankind Bunjil gave tools, weapons and religious ceremony.

DARAMULUN (Australian) A sky god, a hero. There are many tales of his adventures. Daramulun is usually portrayed with a mouth full of quartz and a huge phallus, carrying a stone axe.

DREAM TIME (Australian) The period of creation when the gods brought the world and all living creatures into being.

GIDJA (Australian) Moon god. In the Dream Time, Gidja created Breguet Replica women by castrating Yalungur, for which he was punished by Kallin Kallin. Gidja floated out to sea and ended up in the sky, where he became the moon.

GREAT RAINBOW SNAKE Also JULUNGGUL, GALERU, UNGUR, WONUNGUR, WOROMBI, YURLUNGGUR, LANGAL, MUIT and many others names. (Australian) The great giver of life who lives in a deep pool, stretches across the sky and shines with water drops, quartz and mother of pearl. In the Dream Time, the Great Rainbow Snake created all the waterways and all living creatures. The Great Rainbow Snake is the greatest of all the gods, and no wise man will dare offend him. Many pools are sacred to him and must not be contaminated with blood. Sorcerers perform their magic with pieces of quarts and mother of pearl, because their iridescence holds the life force of the Great Rainbow Snake.

HINA Also HINE (Polynesia) Goddess of darkness, who brought death to humankind by slaying the god Maui. While sailing with her brother Ru, she drifted off to the moon, liked what she saw, and decided to stay, thereby becoming Hina the Watchwoman and a patroness of travelers.

IO (New Zealand) "Io of the Hidden Face," "Io the Originator of All Things," "Io Eternal," "Io God of Love." Supreme being of the Maori, master of all the other gods, known only to the priesthood.

KALLIN KALLIN (Australian) Chickenhawk. Kallin Kallin punished Gidja for castrating his brother Yalungur, the Eaglehawk, by ambushing Gidja as he crossed a bridge and throwing him into the ocean. Realizing that Yalungur was now a woman and therefore no longer a member of the tribe, Kallin Kallin took Yalungur as his wife and so established the custom among Australian aborigines of taking wives from different communities.

KUKLIKIMOKU (Polynesia) God of war. His colors are red and yellow, and his is the crested feather helmet of the Hawaiians.

MARRUNI (Melanesia) God of earthquakes. Marruni's tail terrified his wives, so he cut it into pieces and from them made animals and human beings. MAUI (Polynesia) "Maui of the thousand tricks." A trickster and a hero god. Maui lived when the world was still being created, and fought on the side of humankind, constantly struggling to get them a better deal. Maui raised the sky and snared the sun. His death at the hands of Hina brought death into the world.

NAREAU (Micronesia) Actually two gods, Old Spider and Young Spider. Creators and tricksters. Old Spider created the world from a seashell, but the heavens and the earth were not properly separated, so Young Spider enlisted the aid of Riiki, the eel, to fix the problem. They then created the sun, moon and stars, and a great tree from which came the race of men.

OLIFAT (Micronesia) A trickster. Olifat invented the custom of tattooing. Olifat loves pranks and is constantly spoiling food, ruining fishing trips and seducing men's wives.

PELE (Polynesia) Goddess of volcanic fire and sorcery. Pele lives in Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii. Altars to Pele are built beside lava streams, though only those descended from her worship her.

QAT (Polynesia) Creator god. Qat was born when his mother, a stone, suddenly exploded. Qat made the first three pairs of men and women by carving them from wood and playing drums to make them dance. Qat stopped night from going on forever by cutting it with a hard red stone, which is the dawn. Qat sailed away in a canoe filled with all manner of wonderful things, leaving behind the legend that he would one day return. When the Europeans first came, many believed that Qat had finally come back. R

UA (Tahiti) The Abyss. God of craftsmen. Rua invented wood carving.

TAWHAKI (Polynesia) God of thunder and lightening. Noble and handsome. TU (Polynesia) "Tu of the Angry Face," "Tu the Man Eater," "Tu the Lover of War," "Tu of the Narrow Face." God of war.

WONDJINA (Australian) The primordial beings of the great Dream Time, who created the world. They are shown in rock paintings with halos and no mouths, their eyes and noses joined. The Wondjina give both rain and children, and their paintings are touched up every year so that they will continue to bring rain at the end of the dry season.

YALUNGUR (Australian) Eaglehawk. Yalungur defeated the terrible ogress Kunapipi and became the first woman.

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Last updated: December 31, 1969

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