WW #43: Kaige the Thick

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The Muipidans believed in many gods, but nobody worshipped all of them. Everyone was expected to give sacrifices to the supreme god Emada, who made the sun shine, the rivers flow, and the crops grow. In addition, each individual would choose a second deity to associate with, and promise to follow the rituals and rules set out by that deity’s religious sect.

Many sects catered to people with a specific profession or social status. For example, it was common for soldiers to worship Kaigemis, a warrior god whose righteous rhetoric made men eager to fight and gave them courage in combat. Here, a soldier invokes the name of Kaigemis before battle:

Kaygekende imis o-moy tohnïmbada pügin.

[ˈkaj.ɡɛˌkɛ.ⁿdə
Kayge-ken-de
Kaigemis-PERSDEF
ˈɪ.mɪs
imi-s
OPT3s
ɔ.ˈmɔj
o=moy
ACC=CAUS
ˈtɔ.n̥ɨ.ˌᵐba.da
to-hnï-mbada
PASSNEG3.GRPL
ˈpy.ɡɪn]
pügi-n
frighten-PASS
May Kaigemis protect us all from fear.
Gloss provided by Gloss My Gloss

The names of Muipidan deities can be confusing to outsiders. When referring to a person or place by name, the name must be given class and definiteness suffixes, as in the city Famogï-k’o-do (-k’o for the “bulky” class) or the river Lage-nde-de (-nde for the “long, flexible” class). But when directly addressing a person or place by name (poetically, in the case of a place!), the suffixes are left off: Famoge, Lage.

The same applies to the names of deities, but in addition each deity has an epithet that’s only used when talking to them. So each deity’s name has two forms: a form with the class and definiteness suffixes for talking about the deity, and a form with the epithet for talking to the deity. In the case of Kaigemis, these forms are Kayge-ken-de (-ken for the “person” class) and Kayge-müs (with the epithet müs “thick, solid, tough”). I’ve derived the Anglicized name “Kaigemis” from the address form.

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