Fijian MythologyMythology of Fiji
Creation myth Fiji and the Snake God
Snake God is an important figure in many faiths and mythologies from all over the world. Mostly, however, its place is associated with that of evil, even though the serpent god's shared tenor is that it wants man to gain insight (like the example of the serpent in the Garden of Eden in Christians).
On the mythology of the Isle of Fiji, in one of the most famous tales of creations, the Snakegate is not only an important deity, but the first and ever alive deity to create the first people. Its name is the Great Serpent Degei, the highest of the gods. In the beginning it was only dusk and rain and there was only one isle, the Isle of the Gods, which hovered somewhere at the border of the earth and could be seen at noon.
The only animal was the feminine falcon called Turukawa. Torukawa could not talk and the only thing she would do was flying around the earth until she began to collect leafs and weed and build a hive and eventually two eggs were made. Degei, the great god, brought the two balls to his home, where he made them a cot and kept them cozy.
Two little people came out when the balls slipped, they were his kids. When the first men were brought into the world, they were taken to a forest of Vesis, where Degei sheltered them, feeding them and teaching them the mysteries of the world. Around them he was planting plants so that they could find nourishment, such as bananas, dalo and sweet potatoes.
People could only feed from the rainbow of bananas and not from dalos (or taros) and yam (like yam ) because they did not know the craft of fire and the fruit of these plants could not be consumed uncooked. Dolo and yam were the nourishment of the god. As the first men were growing up, they gathered and asked Degei to show them how to use the force of fire and how to consume the nourishment of the deities, and so Degei instructed them.
After a while the first people abandoned Degei and went on their own and had their first cubs. He was not angry because he knew that his kids and their kids would venerate him as their god. It is said that the first place where Degei ended up was Lautoka, where he founded the small town of Viseisei.
It' interesting to say that Fiji has no serpents, so Degei's approach is not only odd, but his history is very similar to Hindu mythology and Kaliya, but while Degei is a good god, Kaliya is portrayed as a poor one. Fijians are interesting because they are one of the few who portray the serpent god as a good god and are not connected to wicked.
But if we study myths and religion from all over the world with care, we can readily see that this was the case with all snake gods, but for many reason their part has been turned to that of wicked. Legend has it that the snake god Degei now resides in a cavern in the Nakavadra Mountains in Viti Levu.