Lené River Religion

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Lené River Religion

Credit to thetheif3 for most text.

        The high shamans of the Còchin was known as the sáśaréje or sacred/perfect-voice while the regular shamans are known as mańchu (réje is also a slang word for shaman).
          The Còchin practiced polytheistic worship centered around ńylthaŋgan or gods who were represented by animal totems as other Southern people did. The most powerful of the gods were represented by predatory animals and it was believed that if an animal killed a human it was because they had commited a transgression against that animals god. As such rather then killing such animals a shaman (accompanied by a group) would instead seek out the animal for possible omens or the blessing of that particular god. The most revered of these animals was the tárá or tiger who symbolised the chief goddess thaṣa who reigned over the sky and gave the people blessings during times of war and was believed to have helped them conquer the earlier Myéka civilization.
            The Còchin’s obsession with tigers extended to their symbolization of the directions using the tiger to symbolize the central direction or the location of their own kingdom. The west was associated with the taṇá lion. The south associated with the aśá or hawk. The east associated with the ríŋse or phoenix whose wings were described as like flame and who formed lifelong pairs which would be reborn after death. Naturally they became associated with a particular group of birds from Zeluzhia with orange or light brown feathers like those of male and female phoenixes respectively. Finally the north was associated with the ṣáŋ or dragon.
              The Còchin had an elaborate mythology which was established by the Thoŋkrikata. Central to this is the battle between the Entùri or upper/sky gods led by thaṣa and the Vaṣùr or lower/earth gods led by thólá. It was said in ancient times the Entùri waged a war with the Vaṣùr for rulership of the world and to place the heavens above the sky rather than below the earth. They won and as a celebration they created rain to nourish the earth from the sky. This weakened the Vaṣùr who chose to be in heaven as they were cut off from the vital forces of the earth. Some say this mythical battle is meant to represent the Còchin conquest of the Myéka. Another class of beings known as Azýrhan or golden rulers ruled over parts of the heavens that were not ruled by the Entùri. All these beings could be referred to as ńylthaŋgan or gods and often where especially the Entùri.

       Gods & Goddesses
        This is a list of the ńylthaŋgan, or gods and goddesses, of the Lené River Religion.
         Thaṣa (tiger)

Chief goddess of the early pantheon who presided over the heavens, the sun, light, lightning and the afterlife. She was also a war goddess who presided over the honour of soldiers. She began to be associated with many avatars on the earthly realm who were noble human heros and priest several of whom were male. Her avatars were considered to be distinct forms (wearing different masks in metaphor) and had divergent personalities. She was considered a symbol and protector of the kings power and many of the larger earlier temple and palace complexes are dedicated to her and Han were required to worship her. Some myths interpret her in an earlier form as the creator of Ṣàcì while others consider her to be born from it or particularly attuned to it. She is depicted as an all white figure with a purple mask around her eyes as well as with cat ears, amber eyes and overall furry face. She also has a strip of cloth tied around the waist underneath her breasts similar to the nobles of the region.

Thasa.png Thasa.

           Phaśani (dog)

Goddess of beauty, giver of gifts and blessings and keeper of divine power and particularly gifted with Máia. She became associated with multiple godly avatars which were refined into a list of five (based on the five goddesses of Kalan̥áya). Around 500 YP texts were produced declaring her the supreme goddess and one and the same as the Myéka Ciṣà. This formed its own sect of the religion popular in the south similar to Shaktism in india known as Śákavà which is popular in the south and among the Myéka. She is depicted with a fox like face making a sign with her right hand which consists of outstretched pinky, middle and index fingers with other fingers being closed.

          Thólás (leopard)

Chief Vaṣùr who governed the rivers and wetlands of the world. She was the chief goddess prayed to when dealing with rivers and irrigation processes and was also prayed to along with Kòʎèr when dealing with the rains. The largest temple complex in the world is dedicated to her the marvel of engineering also functions as an irrigation project. She is depicted as an even more voluptuous figure than other gods with white markings around her blue eyes.

            Kòʎèr (orca)

Goddess of the seas and their bounty as well as the rains and storms. She was said to be a bringer of great gifts but also responsible for great wrath especially on those who insulted her. Her worship grew as the people became more associated with trade and marine activities around 1000 YP. She is like Thólás depicted as more voluptuous than other gods with her lower legs under water. She also has blue eyes and orange markings around her face.

               Ńithaŋa (nightingale)

Goddess of the dawn and light. Even in historical times she was said to be the most beloved of the people who she gifted with the light of day as well as radiance and things of beauty like flowers. She was often depicted as a consort of Thaṣa. Later texts also associated her with sound and considered the goddess of sound and music (Miriani) to be an aspect of her. She was also considered to be a patron of creative works and had a minor association with fertility and motherhood A sect devoted to her as the supreme goddess quickly appeared around 900 YP and began to spread in the heartland of Còchin territory around 1400 YP known as Aṣavà. She is depicted as a shining figure with amber eyes and necklaces and bands around her body.

            Ńètèʎa (wolf)

Goddess of the night and retribution and revered as a slayer of daemons and a protector of the innocent. She was considered to hold great destructive power which was roused by her anger against all things evil and daemonic. In later times she became associated with fertility and sex, dreams and prophecy and the ritualistic chants and dances that accompanied her worship. She was said to be particularly sated by sacrifices particularly animal and a festival was held every year in her honour in which animals were sacrificed and pottery broken every day. She is depicted as a fierce figure holding two swords with hands bleeding with the blood of her enemies.

          Sìvana (servant)

God of masculine power and energy who pervades the universe (Pаmà). He represents the static forces of the universe as well as virility and sexuality. He is worshipped by wearing a mask in the form of a three eyed god and is said to protect men in war.

Pulsàcɔ̀ (dragon) God of fire and heat who represents the cosmic spark of the gods (Láiá) and as such their creative power. He is also associated with festivals and market days. His worship is conducted through a fire shrine at his temples which is said to bring creative prosperity to the world.

Pulsàcɔ̀.png Pulsàcɔ̀

Napi ámani (butterfly) Goddess of spring and fertility who makes the flowers bloom and agricultural plants grow. She is said to have created life when she woke from a dream and is one of the first goddesses to have existed right after Kalani (time) and Vaiuani (void). She is also associated with milk and was said to be born from the divine milk (màiì) which existed before creation.

Saṣumi Goddess of the winter, death and dryness who is also said to bring protection from both. She also represents cosmic renewal (Márian) as winter is always followed by spring. She was the last born of the season goddesses said to be born out of Hloliani’s lack of motion.

Naiani (silkworm) Goddess of summer, vibrancy and the active shifting energies of the universe (Śáka). She was the second born of the season goddesses said to be born out of the life Napi ámani created. She was seen as a cheerful goddess and said to bring happiness to her worshippers. She was also associated with the rains and the fertility they brought.

Hloliani (fox) Goddess of the autumn, passivity, deep knowledge and mystery who was revered by few but always had a dedicated priesthood. She was particularly favoured by writers such as poets and religious writers and was the patron god of several founders of many schools. She was said to bring visions to those out there in the jungle away from the cities and towns. She also patronised the anthropologists, linguists and scientists of the world. She was said to be born out of the vibrancy of Naiani and is depicted as a mysterious figure wearing elaborate robes and having a veil over her face.

       In Art
        In art, the gods and goddesses are depicted as naked, volumptous figures, and the males with large penises. They are often shown around their totem animal.