Lapland Mythology

Lapland Mythology The accounts on this subject are very scant, because the Lapps never had a public divine worship, but conducted their religious services privately in their homes. They had a. conception of a supreme being, which the North American Indians call the Great Spirit, the Laplanders, Jamula. The latter see three forces of nature combined in the supreme god. They have the god Tiermes, thunder, the god Storjunkare, the ruler of earth, protector of the woods, and the goddess Baiwe, the sun. These three were united in Jamula. Besides these supreme deities they have numerous others, who are subordinate, but. not servants of the former; they have their own smaller circles, as, for instance, the spirits of air, the water deities, mountain deities, and the dreaded evil deities of death, who separate the soul from the body, giving the latter to corruption, and bringing the former into distant regions of good hunting and fishing. They made sacrifices of that which they considered most costly, young male and female reindeer. They offered sacrifices generally in the fall for the whole people. This was the only custom which pointed to a public divine worship. They had no priests nor temples; therefore every father of a household was priest and magician for his family, and taught his own sons. In the autumn, if none of the three gods accepted the offerings, they were sad, because the gods were angry. Although Christianity has entered among them, there are many heathen, who still adhere to their original usages.

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