• Philippine Arts Council

Mayari, Goddess of War and Moon Daughter of Bathala

The Filipino in Me - Insights into Living Heritage

Entry by Harvey Nichol. Calgary, Alberta

 


Mayari, Goddess of War and Moon Daughter of Bathala

29" x 29" (mixed media on canvas)


In ​Tagalog​ mythology, Mayari was the daughter of ​Bathala​, the supreme creator, to a mortal woman​. Mayari is the goddess of revolutions, war, hunt, weaponry, beauty, strength, moon and night. She is known as the most beautiful deity in Bathala's court.


In ​Tagalog mythology​, she is usually depicted as a beautiful young maiden, a lone goddess of the moon and one of the three daughters of the supreme god ​Bathala​ by a mortal woman.


In one story, when Bathala went into deep slumber, she issued a proposal to Apolaki, the god of the sun and the son of Bathala to a mortal woman to rule the land equally, however, Apolaki chose to rule only as one.


This led to a fierce divine war between the two sides, leading to Apolaki taking out one of Mayari's eyes. Shocked by what he had done, Apolaki apologized to Mayari and relented to Mayari's proposal. Since then, Apolaki ruled the Earth every morning, while Mayari ruled the world every night, however, the light during night is dimmer because of Mayari's lost eye.


All sources of Philippine mythologies are originally oral literature. Despite many attempts to record all oral literature of the Philippines, the majority of stories pertaining to Philippine mythologies have yet to be properly documented.


As oral literature is passed on verbally, changes in stories and addition of stories through time are natural phenomenons and part of the evolving dynamism of Philippine mythology.

These oral traditions were intentionally interfered by the Spanish through the introduction of Christian mythologies in the 16th century.



About the Artist

Harvey Nichol is a first-generation immigrant and multidisciplinary artist who is currently pursuing a BFA at Alberta University of the Arts, majoring in Sculpture and minoring in printmaking.


His work embodies elements of various art movements such as neo-expressionism, social realism (in the Philippines), street and folk art which he married to create his version, which he coined as “Street Folk Expressionist Art.”


Harvey moves between different art-making practices such as painting, sculptures, clothing design & storytelling. Inspired by his life experiences as an immigrant, becoming homeless as a youth, and living through the foster system, he channels all of this through visual auto ethnography (self-reflection exploring personal experience and connecting it to a wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings.) along with elements of folklore and mythologies and socio-political commentary on today's world.


For more info on Harvey - harveynichol.ca.


 

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