Indonesian Mythology is based on various cultures and ethnic groups in Indonesia, cutting across Hindu, Islam, or Christian biblical mythology. Hence, the mythology of the Indonesians is based on the origin and legends of these various ethnic groups.
Indonesian Mythology speaks of how the Indonesian ancestors created the universe, the lands, and all that dwell there. Some cultures believe in the spiritual being called Hyangs, which possessed spiritual powers as the creator of the whole universe. Therefore, Hyangs is seen to be either divine or ancestral. Other ethnic traditions believed that the earth was at the back of a gigantic babirusa and when the babirusa had an itch behind him, he rubbed its back against a palm tree. While he scrubbed, the earth fell off and formed what is known as land today.
Indonesia is made up of many gods and deities as Indonesia is home to over 1,300 ethnic groups, each with its own gods and deities, beliefs, culture, and mythology. However, some of the gods and deities are profound, and their fame spread across various ethnic groups. Some of them include:
- Acintya – known as the supreme God
- Batara Kala – the underworld god
- Dewi Danu – the lake goddess
- Dewi Ratih – the moon goddess
- Dewi Sri – rice and prosperity goddess
These are just a few of the gods spoken of in Indonesian mythology, cutting across more than one ethnic group of the region.
These tales and legends have been passed down through oral and written traditions; this has been the reason for the continuous knowledge of these myths. The beliefs of the Indonesian people about every phenomenon on earth possessing a spirit are still widely taught and told to generations. This is the practice of Animism and Dynamism.