Happy Halloween! Though I already did a post about bat-related names a few years ago, I haven’t yet done one about names of gods and goddesses associated with bats. These flying creatures are so neat, and don’t deserve so much hate, fear, and prejudice.
Camazotz means “Death bat” in K’iche,’ a Mayan language spoken in Guatemala. He was a monster encountered by hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque in Popol Vuh, the oldest surviving text recording K’iche’ mythology and history.
Murcielago was a Zapotec god of Death and night, represented as a bat.
Tzinacan was a Mayan and Aztec bat god, with the power to heal any sickness and to cut the silver cord of life tying the physical body to the soul.
Evaki, or Ewaki, was a goddess of night, sleep, dreams, and day, worshipped by the Bakairi people of Brazil and sometimes represented as a bat.
Leutogi was a Samoan princess who became a Polynesian goddess. She was sent to the island of Tonga to become the King’s second wife, part of a peace treaty between their countries, but wasn’t very popular with her new subjects. One day, Leutogi found a wounded baby bat and nursed him back to health till he was able to rejoin his family. The Tongans disliked her even more for this.
The bats, however, remembered her righteousness, and came to her rescue when she was falsely accused of witchcraft and being burnt at the stake. Thousands of bats flew to the scene and urinated all over the flames and the angry crowd, saving Leutogi’s life.
Leutogi was exiled to a remote, barren island, where the bats kept her company and helped her survive by bringing her food and anything else she needed. The bats made the island fertile again, and Leutogi became a goddess of bats and fertility.