Studies of Religion II Ancient religion vs Maori Religion

Topics: God, Creation myth, Māori Pages: 5 (2823 words) Published: August 7, 2015
Describe each religions creation myth, including the formation of the world, people, animals and plants. Maori Religion According to the Maori religion the beginning was emptiness and nothing existed. The Maori origin of the world and the creation of all life are called ‘te kore’. In the state of Te kore two gods appeared the male sky god Ranginui and the female earth god Papatuanuku who spawned six children. The birth of weather (Tawhiri), crops (Rongo), war (Tu), sea (Tangaroa), forests (Tanematua) and plant (Haumia) gods laid the foundation of the formation of life however they had no space to live as Ranginui and Papatuanuku were extremely close resulting in the effort to separate the two by rebelling against them. Mankind originated when Tanematua the god of the forest used red ochre to create the first human being then breathing into it to gift it with life. As Tanematua’s powers developed he began to practice the making of trees and creatures while Tawhiri controlled the force of weather to complete the characteristics of the human world. All other deities worked conjunctively to create the world and provide it with what exists in it today. Tanematua further experimented with his creation leading to the establishment of all life. Babylonian Religion The Babylonian creation epic is named the ‘Enuma Elish’ where the foundation of the world is laid by a primeval godly male in the form of fresh water called Apsu and a salt water goddess called Tiamat when the waters divided into two. The union of these deities gave birth to younger gods which further exceedingly multiplied. Apsu becomes frustrated with the troublesome behaviour of the younger gods that he plans to kill them which infuriates Tiamat who informs their eldest offspring Ea of the upcoming danger. This leads Ea to kill Apsu and take over his crown however as time passes Tiamat once supporter of the younger Gods is now enraged of her spouses death and sends eleven monsters to seek revenge from the younger deities. The Godson Marduk emerges from Ea and attains the divine attribute of wind which he utilises to form storms and tornadoes to fight off Tiamat and all evil entities residing inside her. With the corpse of Tiamat the world is formed along with all life on earth including humans, creatures and plants as she consisted of many gods inside her who possessed attributes which were capable of forming life. Describe three important rituals that each religion observes. Maori Religion At birth a baptism is performed called the ‘Tohi’ ceremony where the sons are dedicated to Tu the god of war in the light of becoming guardians of the land and its people. The daughters are dedicated to the goddess Hineteiwaiwa in the sense of being handed over their role of becoming wives and mothers as well as following the precedence of this exemplary figure; a chant is recited which Hineteiwaiwa recited at the birth of her first son with her female companions. This ritual chant symbolises praises given to the girl which provided her with strength she needed to endure her married life. The traditional Maori death ceremony consisted of two burials; the body of the deceased would be layed out for several days in the Marae for the viewing of relatives and other members of the village followed by a burial in either a cave or a tree or in the ground. When a year has passed the body is removed from its primary burial for the cleaning and painting of the bones with red ochre for a second period of mourning before it is buried at a sacred site. The red ochre is said to represent bloodshed during the separation of the earth and sky god and that the red glow which appears in the sky at times is Ranginui’s blood, indicating that the deceased is travelling to heaven. The Maori people are formed from red ochre and return in the form of red ochre. The traditional Maori war dance ritual is called the Haka, the warriors would use...
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