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Gods of Slinging (Read 1099 times)
Soma_Trip
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Re: Gods of Slinging
Reply #15 - Dec 21st, 2021 at 1:30am
 
Busy time of year, huh?  Thanks for the responses!  Just found out about an Inca storm god - either Illapa or Illapu - that fits the bill pretty spot on.  Some of the modern interpretations from a image search are pretty revealing for how these things can tend to warp throughout time (like everything else I guess) - a lot of those images have been garbled to show an elastic banded slingshot - too many to include here, but a cool find none-the-less.

Incidentally for the myth, thunder is the crack of the sling as the god breaks clay pots of water, causing rain.
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: Gods of Slinging
Reply #16 - Dec 21st, 2021 at 7:44am
 
Quote:
I don't think cordage making is an invention of our species, but something probably far older, so is it conceivable that the sling itself is an concept-invention-discovery we can't lay claim to?


caught my eye.

I mean the first cordage, would have been vines. Abundant, ready made and often bound round something to indicate an actul use.

As to when someone started to make their own 'vines' - who knows.
Well, nobody knows Smiley

But what species do you think invented non-vine cordage ?
The neanderthals ? - who were ahead of our own branch of humanity in pretty much all civilised aspects.
Or some others ?

And you are all ignoring the one soceity that we Know had shrines to slinging.

The pre-spanish chomorro

There are enormous slingstones all over the islands that were possibly used as shrines.

If any culture had a god or gods of slinging, it's micronesia and the chomorros.

The problem there is the spanish had 500 years to quash and destroy the old beliefs and language.

And under that kind of onslaught, where nothing was written down, even spoken records are often lost.

But the odds are very good that there was a god or gods of slinging on guam and the surrounding islands. 

From guampedia:
Quote:
In addition to witnessing fights among the CHamorus, the Spanish also observed the spiritual aspect of native warfare. The CHamorus believed in the presence of the mananiti, or ancestral spirits, and the power of these spirits to assist them in fishing, farming, and even in battle. They believed the ancestral spirits lived on in the skulls of their deceased ancestors and that the makana—the practitioners of healing and magic—had the power to communicate with them. The makana would take out the skulls, lay them out and invoke upon them their requests for help and good fortune. In some cases, the makana would take the skulls and place them on the actual battleground. Victory, of course, was seen as a favorable response by the mananiti.

The CHamorus continued to rely on the skulls for spiritual strength, even in their battles against the Spanish in the late 17th century. The makana, in response to Spanish efforts to missionize and colonize the islands, motivated the CHamorus to fight against the priests and soldiers. Jesuit Father Diego Luis de San Vitores, who headed the newly established Catholic mission, worked hard to remove the authority of the makahna by criticizing them whenever possible and ordering the destruction of the skulls. In one account of a battle in 1671, the natives dug trenches at the advice of a council of makhana and placed in them the skulls of their ancestors. The CHamoru warriors fought with new spiritual vigor; however, the Spanish, with their advanced weaponry, defeated the natives. The Spanish then “cast the skulls on the ground and trampled on them.”


So maybe not a specific god, but there were definitely spirits that helped in warfare and warfare was heavily sling biased.

The above account is interesting in that it doesn't mention the length of time it took the spanish defeat the chamorru.

And as all accounts were written by spanish missionaries - one jesuit brother in particular, it's not exactly an unbiased account.

I have read the jesuits full accunt of chomorro culture, but that was  a few years ago. I should have a pdf somewhere.
I know roman sent me a copy.

But it looks like they probably didn't have gods as such.

But shrines with huge slingstones - there definitely are. 
We can speculate that specific ancestral skulls might have been specific to a particular sling-stone shrine.
But we'll probably never know.
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Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One  - works for me Smiley
 
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Soma_Trip
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Re: Gods of Slinging
Reply #17 - Feb 9th, 2022 at 8:37pm
 
That's the problem with/fun of speculation - we just don't really know.  I think it likely that crafted cordage, in the form of twisted fiber or strips of hide/leather, was right alongside taming fire and the first crudely chipped stone tools - which might put it even before Neanderthal.  The more we find and the more refined our methods, the further back we typically have to push everything, and so much of that record is simply gone. 

Neanderthals were definitely more sophisticated than they are typically given credit for.  I think the oldest spears ever found are credited to their make, and I want to remember reading that reproductions were found to be well-balanced tools - I think materially and conceptually the sling is well within reach - so does it then go even further back, or was it not in their wheelhouse?  Again, I don't know how you would tell - especially if you're not expecting to find something.  Since I think much of the archeological community is still woefully unfamiliar with slinging technology, even if early evidence were found, would it even be recognized as such?

Oceania definitely has a fascinating culture that I'm woefully unfamiliar with, and I know that slinging was historically a very big deal throughout much, if not all, of it.  I think I remember reading somewhere about giant "canoe breaker" slings and stones, and I've seen pictures of beautifully polished biconicals carved out of stone - it even makes the main motif of Guam's flag.  I know slinging was seeing a lot of growth there before the pandemic, and I hope that's continued to the extent that it can throughout all of this.

So what's the deal with these shrines though?  That sounds awesome!  Do you know if I can find more information anywhere?  Are any CHamoru active on the boards?  In the sense of some sort of veneration, I think it's fascinating, and shows a lot about the society and the place of slinging within it - it would be cool to hear more on it. 

Thanks for all the info ya'll!

~Cheers
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slingbadger
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Re: Gods of Slinging
Reply #18 - Feb 10th, 2022 at 5:52am
 
The Irish God Lugh was proficient with the sling, along with all his other attributes. In the second battle of Moytura, he usues it against Balor of the baleful eye. Balor was a one eyed giant,(and Lugh's grandfater) when he opened his eye and looked at an army, they all died. Lugh used a sling to hit Balor in his eye so hard it was pushed out the back of his head. The eye wiped out the opposing army.
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The greatest of all the accomplishments of 20th cent. science has been the discovery of human ignorance  The main difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits.-Einstein   I'm getting psychic as I get older. Or is that psychotic?
 
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