One afternoon in the 1960s, the people of Magelang in Java, Indonesia, gathered on the edge of the main road which connects Magelang and Yogyakarta and sounded anything they could find which could make a loud noise. After some time, the wind blew from the south. This southern wind, according to the local legend, was a Lampor. A Lampor refers to trips to several regions in Java which are carried out by the soldiers of Nyi Roro Kidul, the mythical Queen of the Southern Seas, led by her commander Nyi Blorong.
In an ideal world, celebrating one gender should not come at the expense on another. But we are not living in an ideal world. The roles of the women in Mahabharate are defined by their relationships to the men, women are placed merely on the periphery of the epic – typecast as devoted mothers, virtuous wives and innocent maidens. Amba is a different character from the women in the epic. She had to pay the price for her courage to speak her mind against the most powerful man of the age.
The general appearances of ancient Chinese deities lead us to think of them as sober imperial bureaucrats. Mostly, they look like middle aged men dressed in official-looking robes, spending their time reading formal petitions and responding by giving stern orders to their underlings – rather like the more artistic version of our modern politicians. Although several of the most popular deities are female, gender immediately raises problems for the bureaucratic image of some important deities as governing elites tend to favor a religious practice that reflected themselves (male, old, humourless etc). Women, as well as men who are viewed to be rebels or misfits, tends to be excluded from the sites and definitions of power. But a group of joyful misfits changed all that.
For centuries, rice has been a staple diet and plays an important role in Asian culture. Although rice farmers have found their lives to become more difficult due to climate … Continue reading Dewi Sri, Nang Khosop and the Bountiful Body of a Goddess
In Asian mythology, just before the Lunar New Year, the kitchen gods would go to Heaven to report to the Heavenly Emperor on his family’s activities during the year. In … Continue reading The Kitchen in Asian Mythology
Because to Christianity’s prominent inﬂuence in Western society, the book of Genesis have left a lingering demonization of snakes in the Western culture. However, serpents act as important symbols in … Continue reading The Loving Serpent: The Legend of Madam White Snake
I am very happy to be able to contribute a chapter for Ancient Origins‘ 4 Year Anniversary Ebook, “Unravelling Ancient Myths & Legends” on the lives and symbolism of the … Continue reading Unravelling Ancient Myths and Legends FREE Ebook