Kek's ideas for the Matoran religion

These are just a series of semi-coherent ideas about the Matoran religion (which we'll call Nuism for brevity's sake). Just bear with me. No, I will not try to write this as Vakama would tell it. I'm too lazy for that. Note that this is only the religion held by the Matoran of the main 6 villages; other regions, which would be added on later, might have differing beliefs.

-The creation myth-

Mata Nui, decided one day that he would make stuff. And lo, there was stuff. He began by making the world; then he formed specific regions from which the elements would be derived. To populate these regions, he made the Matoran, his chosen people, and relegated specific races among them to inhabit specific regions. To manage the universe, Mata Nui created the rest of the Great Beings. One of them, the Makuta, betrayed Mata Nui (his motivations for this would be explored in later parts of the sage) and plunged the world into darkness with his Rahkshi. To combat this, Mata Nui set up a process by which worthy Matoran could become Toa, whose powers are manifestations of the regions they come from, to defeat the Rahkshi. The Toa were victorious, and Makuta was banished to the underworld. To the present day, Toa have continued to be chosen to defend the world from the Makuta's salt and outdated memes. And that's where babies come from.

-The Great Beings-

The Matoran consider 6 to be a holy number. As such, they have 6 deities whom they worship. This excludes Mata Nui himself, who is regarded on a higher level. These spirits do not meddle in the affairs of the material world very much, save for when the Matoran seek their guidance or help.
1. Teridax, the spirit of thought, the mind, and politics. He is associated with peace, and with Ko-Koro.
2. Artakha, the ruler of the Red Star, where virtuous Matoran go when they die; and the god of wisdom and knowledge. He also serves as the patron god of scientists and inventors. He is associated with prosperity, and with Onu-Koro.
3. Karzahni, king of the underworld and tormentor of sinners. He transforms the bodies of his victims into mechanical slaves called Bohrok, which are controlled by his 2 pet dinosaurs, Cahdok and Gahdok. Karzahni is also a war deity. He is associated with courage, and with Ta-Koro.
4. Ekimu, the patron of the arts and mask-makers, who hold great importance in Matoran society. He is also a protector of households. He is associated with creation, and with Po-Koro.
5. Vahi, who presides over the passage of time and holds together the fabric of the universe. She is associated with purity, and with Ga-Koro.
6. Ignika, spirit of life and death. He acts as a psychopomp, and rides around on a flying surfboard. The existence of Rahi is attributed to him. He is associated with faith, and with Le-Koro.

The Makuta is excluded from these ranks because of the aforementioned Satan-like role he plays. His betrayal is also the reason why a 7th wheel in a group of 6 is often looked upon with suspicion, for this is seen as a bad omen.

In addition to these, the Matoran believe in various other spirits which preside over the elements. They are not worshiped, but may be prayed to in order to earn their favor or protection. These include Ikir, Uxar, etc.; these creatures' Rahi-like natures are what separates them from the true gods. The species of Rahi which they most resemble are also considered sacred for their association with these "primordial creatures."

-Ritual and places of worship-

The Matoran do not have dedicated churches. Prayer is often conducted in the home or place of work whenever it is considered necessary, particularly on holidays. Matoran generally keep a small shrine to specific gods (usually Mata Nui) in their house. There are, however, temples where Matoran may go to seek spiritual guidance.

Of these, the most noteworthy is Kini-Nui. Stationed just outside of Ga-Koro, it is a grand temple where a society of Matoran monks live and curate the building. This is where pretty much all Av-Matoran live. It's located on a mountainous island where clouds rarely gather, thus letting light shine upon it most of the time; and even at night, it is bathed in light from the many giant lightstones stationed around the temple. When clouds gather overhead, it is seen as a sign that evil is coming. Kini-Nui is also the site of the Toa Suva, where Matoran take Toa stones to become Toa.

-Toa and their significance-

In the Abrahamic faiths, there are saints. In Nuism, there are Toa. Becoming a Toa is a great honor, as Toa are seen as the chosen champions of Mata Nui himself. At Kini-Nui, the monks watch out for meteors containing Toa stones to fall to the planet's surface. Once they arrive at the landing site of the meteors, they take the stones in the direction where they shine brightest when aimed, and are given to whatever Matoran causes them to glow the brightest. The Matoran then take the stone to the Toa Suva, where they become Toa.

Of all Toa, Toa of Light are considered the most powerful and regarded the most highly, as the element of Light is thought to be the first that was created. Shadow, the last and most reviled element, is not used by any Toa or latent in any Matoran (unless Umarak is implemented as an antagonist). Toa of Light are rarely chosen, but when they are, they come from Kini-Nui.

-Societal roles-

The Matoran only have one spiritual leader in each village: the Turaga. These are best described as priest-chieftains, and preside over the Matoran theocracies. Kini-Nui does not have one, but the other villages all do. The duty of a Turaga is to lead their people's worldly affairs and meet their spiritual needs. If they fail to do so, the people are capable of overthrowing them. When the incumbent Turaga dies, all candidates go to Kini-Nui, where a ritual is held that decides which one will be the new Turaga.

Of the Av-Matoran, there is also a Chronicler, who goes about the world recording history and current events. The importance given to stories and narrative makes this a sacred position to hold.

-Philosophy and Morality-

The Matoran believe that virtue comes from following the sacred Three Virtues bestowed upon them by Mata Nui. These, they believe, are what make them higher than mere Rahi. Unity, Duty, and Destiny must all be abided by to gain entrance to the halls of Artakha. Causing disunion among oneself or others, not following one's duty, or not taking control of one's destiny will land sinners in Karzahni, otherwise known as "the suckhouse" because it sucks. The Three Virtues' relevant symbol is the official symbol of Nuism.

The concepts of peace, prosperity, etc. are all thought to be different attributes linked with certain gods, as listed above. These are also considered vital to virtue and goodness.

Great importance is given to storytelling, and the narrative of the universe and the plight of good vs. evil (called the "Bionicle") is considered most sacred.

Alright, that's all I have in me. Just some thoughts of mine that I farted out for whatever reason.

7 Likes

Can I just say-

YES. This is EXACTLY what I want in Bionicle G3!

Also, your mention of lesser deities- Can we expect Ikir, Ketar, and the rest as part of your mythos?

Really, though, I love all this mythos idea, and have tried to incorporate it into my world-building (For example, in my Matoran mythos, Po-Wahi is said to have spilled out from the bottom of a massive stone cast by Mata Nui that the Po-Matoran place tribute around), and the idea of 6 being sacred, with a 7th being wary, is amazing.

Also, the little bits of g1 lore you're able to thrown in to resemble the Matoran Legends of the deities, such as Artakha and Karzahni, is great. It feels like I'm reading about stories made by an actual ancient people to explain the mechanics of the universe, and detailing the views, philosophy, etc. of a civilization is always good.

And finally, Makuta being outcast and not appreciated nor worshipped amongst the pantheon just feels so RIGHT and in-character for him, for both Evil Spirit Makuta from 2001-03 and Teridax from 2004-10.

1 Like

Absolutely, but only because I can't come up with better names. Hence the fact that I just used recycled G1 and G2 names for stuff.

Thanks, I didn't know it was that good. I was just sorta improvising.

I'm, OK with this, could use a bit of 'tribalizing' but it's acceptable.

1 Like

Define "tribalizing." What makes it not suitable for a tribal society?

It just feels a little bit too Greek/Roman, rather than Maori/aboriginal.

I don't really know enough about Polynesian/Melanesian mythology to incorporate its themes into a made-up religion (barring the fact that Maui is so manly, he has chest hair growing out of his biceps), so I'm at a loss in that department. I was going for something that's not really rooted in any human religion because of this, so that I might avoid motifs that don't make a lot of sense here.

1 Like

He what now

1 Like

"Psychopomp" refers to a god who escorts the dead to the afterlife. In Greek mythology, for example, Hermes acts as a psychopomp because he takes the deceased to Hades.

2 Likes

I really like this. You've done an admirable job of taking inspiration from all sorts of real world spirituality and combining them with G1 and G2 elements. Bravo!

I have to ask: how do Turagas come to be in this universe? Are they elected, or are they "chosen"?

2 Likes

That...is a very good question, which I will answer with an update to the OP.

1 Like

Well, that's what BIONICLE is, a combination of Greco-Roman and Maori/aboriginal (at least towards the end.)

Skimmed through this. It seems pretty good. Anything about the tribes' virtues (faith for air and purity for water, for example) you could throw in? Would you want to associate a particular god with each tribe, based upon those tribal virtues?

1 Like

I might want to go back and elaborate on that sometime. Sounds like it might not be a bad idea.

Step one, use the word "spirit" instead of "god." Automatically makes it like 50% more tribal.

Another thing you could do is make the spirits less interested in the actions of the matoran. In a lot of Native American tribal lore only evil spirits meddle in the affairs of man, while good spirits must be dought out and breached for aid.

3 Likes

This is epic dude. I reckon if you did something on lifestyle (featuring Kolhii) that would be awesome. I reckon I could probably write a 'day in the life of a Matoran' based on those two things. Brilliant work.

1 Like