spirit

How to Shrink a Head: The Shuar Creation of Tsantsa

The Spaniards invaded the New World seeking riches. They tortured and maimed, and the religiously inclined Christians did everything they could to stamp out indigenous faiths. They burned shrines and holy places, huacas (sacred places), and mummified ancestral kings, which played an important role in many tribes’ religious practices. The conquistadors (which means conquerors in Spanish) demanded gold, and when some smaller tribes could not supply it or had already turned over what they had, the Spaniards killed or severely injured them. In this way, many of the smaller tribes disappeared,...Read more

The Dangerous and Powerful Guardian Spirit Queen of the South Seas, Kanjeng Ratu Kidul

Kanjeng Ratu Kidul is a well-known figure in Javanese mythology who is still venerated by the Javanese today as the spirit queen of the Indian Ocean. Living in her palace on the bottom of the ocean off the south coast of Central Java, she rules the ocean, the spirits, nymphs, and other beings from the underworld. Her rare excursions ashore are believed to be accompanied by the occurrence of unusual natural phenomena, such as spring tides. As queen of the Southern Ocean, Kanjeng Ratu Kidul (or Nyai Loro Kidul) is held responsible for disappearances and deaths near or in the ocean. Therefore...Read more