There is very little left of whatever religion or follklore from the Ancient Basques before Christianity arrived in  Basque country. There are very few relics and even less folklore to study.  Mari is one of the most famous Basque goddesses that survived ( just barely!) the arrival of Christianity in the Basque Country.   Sometimes she is depicted as woman,  other times she is described as having the head of a goat, or as a storm (thunder and wind).  She can be seen riding through the sky on a chariot.She is connected to the weather and uses storms to both punish and reward people with.  Mari is also the the protector of the executive branch and has a coven of witches (sorginak). She is married to Sugaar. He is depicted as a snake in most myths. It seems like his only purpose in life is to help Mari out with her mischief. Sugaar seems to have a hand in punishing bad children, but that may be some threatening folklore that mothers have used for centuries as a tool to keep their children in line.  There are a few myths that seem to indicate that he meets with Mari every Friday. Mari also has two sons. Their names are Atxular and Mikelatz. Depending on your interpretation of a myth Mari may have a daughter, but the jury is still out on this note. With the rise if Christianity many deities like Mari were labeled as paganism and their worshippers were scorned, or even killed for practicing pagan rituals. Yet, through the years Mari is a shining example of Ancient Basque lore.


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2 Responses to Mari

  1. katiepollman says:

    Very interesting! I really liked the story of Mari and her mischief.

  2. mansari2 says:

    It’s sad there is so little ancient folklore left. I wonder what other famous figures were part of the religion and mythology.

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