Goddess of the Moon in Malaysian Mythology
Malaysian mythology is a set of mythological representations of the Malagasy race, which is the indigenous population of the island of Madagascar, whose ancestors moved from the islands of the Malay Archipelago. The primary source for studying mythology is the records of Malagasy folklore produced by Europeans and Malagasy scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries (Serva, 2018). The role of the woman in this mythology is crucial. One of the first Goddesses that appear in the Malaysian myths’ narration is the Andriamahilala. Initially, she was not presented as a Goddess (Andriamahilala: Malagasy moon Goddess, n.d.). In the early myths, she was depicted as the first Earth woman. Later, she married Andriambahomanana and pursued the shared mission of the population of the Earth (Andriamahilala: Malagasy moon Goddess, n.d.). The Sky (as an ultimate knowledge and matter) gave such a task to the married couple.
Andriamahilala was given the status of Goddess because of her achievements in populating Earth: she had many children and grandchildren. In other words, she was a mother-ancestor of humanity. After her mission on Earth was completed, she was granted the privilege of choosing how she wanted to die and be reborn. The woman asked to become the moon which dies every morning. After such a choice, she was given the status of the Moon Goddess. The husband of Andriamahilala also had a chance to choose his rebirth form: he decided to become a banana plant. In Malaysian mythology, the half-moon and banana forms are often considered two halves of one entity, symbolizing the connection between the first people on Earth (Andriamahilala: Malagasy moon Goddess, n.d.). Therefore, the Goddess of the moon is one of the most significant personalities in Malaysian mythology because she was the one to give birth to all people.
Andriamahilala: Malagasy moon Goddess. (n.d.). The Guide to the Gods.
Serva, M. (2018). The origins of the Malagasy people, some certainties and a few mysteries. Cornell University.