Dead Man Tells No Tales but Beliefs Prevail: Death Mythology [Under the Waning Moon]
The coming of death has been pondered since the dawn of human existence. Therefore, several mythological stories about the coming of death were created. Most of the stories brought up the power of gods as the authority to predestine human to die. Moreover, people in the Pacific region seemed to symbolize 4 things to death: the Moon, the Bananas, the Casting Skin, and the Sorcery.
Under the Waning Moon, Men Shall Die: Death Mythology Regarding the Moon
The reason why they related the moon with death and awakening is probably because the moon was perceived to be the only thing that comes to life again through the waxing and waning.
In the west coast of New Zealand, the Maori believed that there was the te Wai-ora a Tane (god Tanes waters of life), which the water that gave power of the renewal of life, located in the underworld where Hine-nui-te-po (which means the great woman the night) inhibited. The trickster hero Maui noticed that the sun and the moon always came back to life because they bathed in that Te Wai-ora a Tane. So, Maui entered the womb of Hine-nui-te-po. Unfortunately, a fantail laughed, making her awake and cut Maui in two. Because of Mauis failure to bring immortality, human are mortal (Orbell, 1995).
According to Frazer (1911), in Micronesia, Fijians seemed to have related the moon with death and reincarnation. For Fijians, the moon seemed to be male (p. 67). The story stated that the moon wanted men to be like him; that is, to grow old, vanish for a while and then return to life. But Qurai (the Fijian god who once changed himself into a rat so that he could attend the meeting unseen) wanted human to die just as rats die. I could not find any record of how the dispute went but Qurai won the dispute. However, I feel that this Fijian myth is contradictory; Sir E.G Frazer (1991) described that the rat who was the Fijian god won the dispute while recent definitions present in Wikipedia (2006), the online encyclopaedia, argued that he transformed into a rat so that no one would see him. In attempt to reconcile the discrepancies in the myth, I might guess that the human death agenda must be a crucial topic that urged him to speak up.
In Southeast Asia, the Cham of Annam (Vietnam) and Cambodia believed that the goddess of good luck who always revives the deceased was sent to the moon where she lost her power ever again.
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