Langit Pt. II: Ang Panahon
Part II of Langit continues to explore the stories of the celestial gods of the Visayan mythological pantheon, this time the gods associated with the weather, 'panahon'.
The Arco Earrings
The ethereal beauty of the rainbow never ceases to awe and inspire us, and it was no different for our ancestors.
To the ancient Visayans, the rainbow represented Barangaw, one of a trinity of war gods invoked before and during battle. The rainbow was a symbol of hope and was believed to bring luck and victory. It was believed that the souls of those who died in battle were led by Barangaw to the rainbow bridge, which would take them to the sky-world of the gods.
The Arco earrings feature translucent glass beads that glisten like gemstones in the light, channeling the magical aura of this colorful phenomenon. I gave these earrings an uneven fringe to give them a touch of ferocity!
The Bagyo Earrings
Due to its geographical location, the Philippines is prone to tropical cyclones. The ancient Visayans believed these were caused by the wild and unpredictable god of storms, Saragangka Bagyo.
Saragangka Bagyo is said to have an intimidating physique, plated with armor and carrying a large staff, which he uses to stir the heavens to create hurricanes. Other stories claim he can turn into a giant eagle who creates typhoons and tornadoes with his mighty wings.
The Bagyo Earrings are a delightfully mismatched pair of a thundercloud and rain cloud. Their small size makes for a fun and dainty look! I had so much fun making these, and they are easily one of my favorites in this collection.
The Wind Choker
Our Visayan ancestors believed the changing of the seasons was brought about by Pahulangkug. This industrious god of the seasons worked all year round, shifting the winds to manipulate the weather. During the dry season he gathers the warm winds and moves them in all directions. He tames the storm clouds, storing them in pots until the rainy season. When the rainy season starts, he opens his house to release the colder winds and storms.
In some stories he is a god of the wind, moving them and traveling with other gods on their journeys to bring about the change of seasons. Without his guidance, the seasons cannot change.
The Wind Choker is made up of little silver-lined beads woven into a rippling pattern to mimic the movement of air currents. Partially transparent, it looks delicate and ethereal when worn, especially as the silver glints in the light.
Remember when I said one of these new designs gave me my first beading-related injury? Well, it was the Wind Choker. To be fair, I was using a thread that was much too thick for the beads. I don't know why I persisted in using it instead of switching to my usual thread, but forcing it and beading until 3 am caused the ligament on my left hand to sprain. Lesson learned!
The Uwan Earrings
When the Spaniards first arrived in Cebu in 1521, they gifted an image of the Santo Niño, the Child Jesus, to Queen Humamay upon her and Rajah Humabon’s baptism into the Catholic faith. Since that first contact, the Santo Niño
continued to be worshipped by the Cebuanos, but it took on a new identity as the child god of graces, Santonilyo.
After Magellan’s defeat, the practice of bathing the Sto. Niño figure in the sea during drought began. It was said that bathing it in the sea would make the rains come, and so Santonilyo was also worshipped as a rain deity. After the Spanish conquest four decades later, Santonilyo resumed the original Catholic identity as the Child Jesus, but the practice of bathing the Sto. Niño to ask for rain continues to this day.
Beaded fringe or torrential downpour? The Uwan Earrings depict a nimbus cloud pouring down a fringe of blues that twinkles as it sways, looking like little raindrops.
The Kilat Earrings
Flashes of lightning, booming sounds of thunder – sure signs of a storm brewing! Our Visayan ancestors believed that these represented Ribung Linti, god of thunder and lightning, ushering in the rainy season.
Apart from heralding the start of the rainy season, Ribung Linti also fought off the evil spirits that came during the summer, bringing bad luck to the people. Ribung Linti is depicted as a mighty warrior and hunter. The lightning was his spear, streaking across the sky as he threw it at evil beings. The sound of thunder was the voice of the god himself, raised in excitement as he fought and defeated his enemies.
The Kilat Earrings feature a lighting bolt pattern done in golden glass beads set against a clear backdrop. As the fringes sway in movement, the gold flashes – just like lightning!
The Kilat and Uwan Earrings were originally going to be a mismatched pair, but after I finished making them they just looked too mismatched. So instead I decided to split them into two new pairs of earrings. I still wanted to make mismatched "storm" earrings though, so that turned into the Bagyo Earrings!
And that's part two of Langit! Were you already familiar with the deities we covered in this collection? I've so far covered the more well-known ones in the earlier collections, so this time I wanted to give the spotlight to the less familiar ones.
I love learning more about our mythology as I continue to research and create jewelry, and it's such a joy to be able to share these stories with you!