We visited the island of Sulawesi, in the Indonesian archipelago, and ventured into the rainforest of Lore Lindu in search of the mysterious Patung, megalithic sculptures of only partly anthropomorphic aspect which constitute for archaeologists (but also for natives) a real enigma. Taking into account the various hypotheses regarding the cults of ancestors, those of fertility and supposed human sacrifices, we will try to connect them in a framework as coherent as possible.
di Marco Maculotti
We have set our sights on this cycle of essays classified as "Andean Notebooks" to focus on the most significant aspects of the tradition of ancient Peru, which was much more extensive than the present, also including parts of Ecuador, northern Chile and Bolivia. Having previously treated the doctrine of the "Five Suns" and pachacuti [cf. Pachacuti: cycles of creation and destruction of the world in the Andean tradition] let us now analyze the main numinous figure of the Andean pantheon: the creator god Viracocha (or Wiracocha or Huiracocha). For the purposes of this investigation, we will mainly use ancient chronicles (Garcilaso Inca de la Vega, Sarmiento de Gamboa, Cristobal de Molina, Bernabé Cobo, Guaman Poma, Juan de Betanzos, etc.) and the manuscript of Huaru Chiri, translated only recently, which we will integrate from time to time with the stories of rural folklore (collated by the anthropologist Mario Polia) and with some of the most recent hypotheses, if noteworthy.
di Marco Maculotti
According to many mythical traditions, in the beginning the first members of the human race were generated in the bowels of the Earth, within underground worlds similar to cavernous wombs. The myths of emergence, particularly prevalent among Native American populations, provide us with the best examples of such subterranean realms. The mythical tales tell of how the first humans were brought to the surface to live in the sunlight only after they remained for a long time under the earth's surface, in the - so to speak - "larval" state, and after developing a rudimentary physical form. and a human conscience. According to native peoples, this emergence from the underworld marks the birth of man in the present era - or, to use a typical American term, the "Fifth Sun" - and also represents the transition from childhood and dependence on womb of Mother Earth to maturity and independence.
Among the myriad of populations that once inhabited the vast prairies of North America, the Natchez of the Southern Mississippi Valley. In fact, although belonging to the confederation of Cree tribes of the Muskogee language, they spoke a peculiar dialect and very distinct from that of the other populations of the South-East, called Natchesan. From the few sources that history has handed down to us it seems that their culture, of a sedentary type, was born around 700 AD and that it was strongly influenced by the great Mesoamerican civilizations, especially as regards the cult of the Sun — and of the deified ruler as his son—And the voluntary practice of immolation as a practice worthy of the highest honor.
The Aztec religion is a Mesoamerican religion that combines elements of polytheism, shamanism and animism, as well as aspects related to astronomy and the calendar. Aztec cosmology divided the world into three levels: an upper one, seat of the celestial gods, a lower one, seat of the underworld powers, and a middle one, in which the human consortium lives, equidistant from the gods and demons of nature and the subsoil. The concept of Theotl it is fundamental in the Aztec religion. In language Nahuatl it is often considered synonymous with "God", even if, to be more precise, it refers to a more general concept, which refers to the immaterial dynamic energy of divinity (tona), similar to the Polynesian concept of mana. As the Tapas of the Indo-Aryans, this tona it is not always beneficial, since an overabundance of it brings death and destruction [Torres 2004, p.14].