The text on this page is used with permission from Oxford University Press from A Dictionary of World Mythology by Arthur Cotterell.
|Ahoeitu - A legendary Tui
Tonga, king of Tonga. Ahoeitu means the day has dawned.
Alchera - The remote period of time in which the ancestral spirits of the aboriginal tribes in Australia walked the earth.
Altjira - The otiose sky father of the Ardana tribes in central Australia. He is conceived as a man in the sky with feet like an emu. He is self-conceived. He is looked upon as the remote deity of dreamtime.
Atea - In tuamotuan mythology, the original moving sky space, a shapeless being. Atea was made into the sky god and Fa'ahotu became his wife.
Auwa - The sacred places of the origin of the Pulwaiya, ancestors. Among the Wikmunkan tribesmen of northern Australia, the auwa or Totem centers are the breeding places of birds and animals.
Bagadjimbri - The Karadjeri in northwestern Australis attribute everything to the two ancestral brothers call Bagadjimbri. Prior to their rising from the ground as two dingoes, the earth was featureless. Nothing lived until they made two waterholes. They are also credited with shaping genital organs for sexless people.
Baiame - The totemic ancestor of the Kamilorai tribe of New South Wales. He was an ancient sky god and the father of all things. He was the master of life and death.
Bamapana - The trickster hero of the Murngin in northern Australia. The quarrels and misunderstandings he caused were innumerable.
Banoi - One of the names used in the New Hebrides for the land of the dead. Banoi has all of the amenities found in the real world except for gardens.
Bobbi-bobbi - One of the ancestral snakes of the Binbinga, an aboriginal people living in northern Australia.
Bue - In Gilbertise mythology, son of a woman magically impregnated by the sun. Bue assaulted the sun god and obtained his desire, cleverness and knowledge. Bue was a cultural founder hero. He taught men how to build canoes and houses, how to raise winds by magic and how to ensure health and prosperity.
Djanggawuls - The divine trio of north Australian mythology. Two sisters and a brother who came to the earth via beralku, the island of spirits or the dead, and gave the landscape its shape and vegetation.
Dudugera - In Papuan mythology, the leg child who became the sun.
Gora-daileng - In the Caroline Islands the god who punished the wicked after death.
Haumea - The mysterious fertility goddess of Hawaiian mythology. Haumea was sometimes identified with the earth goddess Papa. Haumea changed herself by using rebirth.
Hiyoyoa - Among the Wagawaga tribes of Papua, the underworld. The lord of this place is Tumudurere.
Iki-haveve - The Papuan description of the ecstatic cult that arose in Vailala about 1919. The word means 'belly don't know'.
Kai-n-tiku-aba - The sacred tree of Samoa.
Kamapua'a - A popular figure in Hawaiian mythology. With his enormous snout he dug the earth and raised a great mound, a hill for the gods, a hill with a precipice in front. Possibly, this legend refers to the stronghold of his descendants.
Kane - In late Hawaiian mythology the chief god of generation, he had a dazzling phallus like the Polynesian trickster hero Maui. He was the maker of the upper and lower heavens and the earth.
Kava - An intoxicating drink brewed from the root or leaves of a plant of the pepper family. It is important in the Polynesian ceremonies and is sometimes used to quiet hunger.
Kumu-honua - Literal meaning: 'earth beginning'. The first man of Hawaiian mythology. His and his wife's, Lalo-honua, fate was much the same as that of Adam and Eve. They succumbed to temptation.
Kunapipi - The mother goddess of the aboriginal tribes of northern Australia.
Lioumere - A ghastly spirit of the Caroline islands. When this female demon with long iron teeth came to visit that Island, many people were usually cautious about their behavior.
Loa - The supreme being and creator deity of the Marshall Islands a parallel of the Tahitian Ta'aroa.
Lugeilan - Lugelian came down from the sky to teach men for the first time according to the Caroline islanders. His specific contributions were tattooing, hairdressing, and agriculture. He was always connected with coconut palm.
Mangar-kunjer-kuja - A lizard ancestor whose gifts include life, circumcision, subincision, the stone knife, fire, the spear, the shield, the boomerang, and a sacred object called tjurunga that linked man to his ancestor and afforded protection from harm.
Marawa - The Melanesian spider spirit. Marawa was responsible for making man a mortal being.
Matagaigai - The Papuan tree spirit. The male is described as an ordinary man while the female has one large and one small breast.
Maui - The diminutive Polynesian culture hero and trickster. He appears in the myths of New Zealand to Hawaii and enjoys the reputation of a kind of Heracles.
Menehune - A mythical race of Pygmies. The Hawaiians believed they were two feet in height and the bow legged forms were encountered in the forests.
Minawara - One of the ancestral heroes of the Nambutji tribe and along with the other hero, Multultu, was a kangaroo man.
Mokoi - The Murngin in northern Australia believe that death is caused by mokoi, which is to ritual uncleanliness
Nareau - The creator deity of the Gilbertese traditions.
Ndauthina - The Fijian god of seafaring, fishing and fire.
Ndengei - The Serpentine creator of Fiji.
Nei Tituaabine - The Gilbertese vegetation goddess.
Njirana - Njirana is associated with dogs. He killed all of the bad ones and saved the good ones, the ancestors of today's dogs.
Nu'u - The Hawaiian Noah.
Olofat - The Micronesian hero in the Caroline Islands. He was the son of Lugelian, a deity identified with the trickster god Luk.
Oro - The Tahitian war god. In time of peace, he was called 'Oro of the spear laid down'.
Paka'a - God of wind, one of the lesser Hawaiian gods.
Papa - Ancestress of the Hawaiian people. She was the earth goddess, queen of the under world and the mother of the gods. Papa means flat and may have referred to the submerged foundation on which Th island was supposed to rest.
Pele - A Polynesian Fire goddess associated with the flow of lava. She was renowned for her beauty.
Pulotu - Land of the dead in the belief of the Tongans.
Rangi - The Maori Ouranos, sky.
Rokola - The Fijian carpenter god. He built the canoes that allowed the Fijians to settle their groups of islands.
Ro'o - The prayer chanter. On Tahiti this god had plenty of names. He was Ro'o in distress, or dizziness, or faintness, or dimness, or gaping and many others.
Taburimai - In Gilbertese mythology, the son of Bakoa, a semi-divine ancestor.
Tagaro - The wise and benevolent hero in the New Hebridies.
Tane-mahuta - In Maori mythology, the father of the forests and all things that inhabit them or that are constructed from trees. He separated Rangi from Papa.
Tangaroa - The Polynesian god of fish and reptiles. In Hawaii he was known as the squid god Kanaloa
Te Bo ma Te Maki - Literally: 'The darkness and the cleaving together'. The primordial substance in Gilbertese mythology.
To-Kabinana - A Melanesian creator hero. He always did things beneficent to the world.
Tpereakl - A Melanesian creator deity. He and his consort took up residence at the bottom of the sea, where his consort gave birth to two sons as well as shoals of fish.
Yurlungur - The great copper python of the Murngin in northern Australia. Yurlungur is the great father, his voice is thunder and the water in the well in which he live shines like a rainbow. He is the rainbow deity, very potent in the aboriginal religion. He is plainly the focus of a fertility cult.