3 Origin Myths Worth Knowing

September 20 2021

Giant Water Lily Legend – The Brazilian moon goddess Jaci comes at night to turn the most beautiful virgins into stars. Naiá sought out the goddess each night, to become a star. After resting at a lake one night she saw the reflection of the moon. Naiá dove in and drowned. The goddess recognised her sacrifice and turned her into a star different from all the rest – a giant water lily.

Its merit : Victoria amazonica only opens its flowers at night. White first, rosé later. The myth illustrates the power of devotion. And it shows what it takes to become a star!


Kosovo Myth – The medieval Serbian state is being threatened by the Ottoman empire. The night before the battle, a grey hawk appears to Tsar Lazar. He has a choice, victory in battle, or, by his sacrifice, making the Serbian people the chosen ones. Lazar chooses martyrdom, he is captured and beheaded. Serbia becomes a nation enslaved.

Its merit : Few national identity myths have as many interpretations like this one. Is it showing the defeat of a nation as a moral victory, while simultaneously legitimising the opposing rule? Is it about heroism? There is no wrong answer!


Legend of Maní – The Tupí chief was outraged, his daughter was pregnant! She swore that she had known no man and in a dream, a warrior told him to believe her. Soon, a child, white-skinned and black-eyed, was born. But the child suddenly died. The chief buried it in his hut and his daughter, as was the custom, watered the place daily. A plant grew from the grave and the soil broke and fruit with white skin emerged. And from then on mandioca, meaning ‘House of Mani’, became the staple food.

Its merit : A story of immaculate conception, acceptance, grief, and reward, the perfect origin story!