Mayari : The Moon Goddess
In Tagalog mythology, Mayari is the goddess of the moon and is the daughter of the Supreme God, Bathala, and a mortal woman. She is also known as the most beautiful of all goddesses. In one of the Pampangan myths, Mayari and her brother Apolaki fought for the Earth’s right to rule. During the fight, Mayari lost one of her eyes due to Apolaki’s bamboo club. He then asked her for forgiveness and agreed to rule with her at night and during the day. Her light is dim compared to her brother’s because of her eye injury.
In observance of Mayari, a tradition known as the courting of Mayari occurs on the night of a full moon. During this event, the suitor gives the woman a gift known as a sampaguita, which she can wear if she accepts the partner as her choice.
Mayari wears an elegant multi-layered outfit that features vibrant beads and various accessories, such as a yantok and a baston and 2 fighting sticks. Despite her soft features, Mayari is still considered to be an epitome of strength and beauty and also the most beautiful of all the goddesses in the Philippine pantheon of gods. She is also often depicted as being tattooed and having one eye with a scar over the other.
In Tagalog mythology, Mayari is the daughter of Bathala, who was the supreme creator. She is the sister of Hanan, the deity of the dawn, Adlaw, who is the god of the sun, and Tala, the goddess of stars. In some mythology, Tala is Mayari’s daughter. In one story, Mayari proposed to Apolaki to rule the land equally. However, Apolaki chose to rule as one. This led to a fierce divine war between the two sides, leading to Apolaki taking out one of Mayari’s eyes.
Mayari is also known as Bulan in some parts of the Philippines. Mayari, however, should not be confused with Malayari who is a separate god which originates in the Sambal region and it’s distinct mythology.
Powers and Abilities
Mayari is the goddess of revolutions, war, hunt, weaponry, beauty, strength, moon and night. She is also the symbol of inner strength and compassion that has now become synonymous with the Filipino woman.
The weapons that Mayari uses are usually made from bamboo or kamagong woods. She also has a variety of weapons, such as a yantok, which is a long stick that measures up to thirty six inches long and a blue ‘baston’, a short stick about twenty four to twenty eight inches in length.
In the Philippines, the use of various weapons, such as fighting sticks, has been regarded as a part of the martial arts known as Eskrima, Arnis or Kali. Spain prohibited the use of this type of martial art form due to its dangerous nature but despite this, the tribes people still continued to incorporate the arts into their dances.
Modern Day Influence
All of the sources of Philippine mythology are oral literature. Despite the numerous attempts to record all of the stories in the country’s oral literature, the majority of them have not been properly documented. As a result, changes in the stories and the addition of new ones through time are natural phenomenon and part of the evolving dynamism of Philippine mythology. The Spanish introduced various Christian myths to the oral literature during the 16th century. This was done to intentionally interfere with the development of Philippine mythology.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mayari known for?
Mayari is know for losing an eye in her battle to rule the world and is also worshipped as the moon goddess and is also associated with war, revolutions and night.
Is Mayari a god or a demigod?
Mayari was born to the supreme god Bathala and a mortal woman which makes her a demigod by definition.
What weapons were used by Mayari?
Mayari has a variety of weapons, such as a yantok, which is a long stick that measures up to thirty six inches long and a blue ‘baston’, a short stick about twenty four to twenty eight inches in length.
What martial art was used by Mayari?
Mayari practiced the ancient Filipino martial art of Eskrima which was later banned by the Spanish as it was too dangerous.