Muipidan Beliefs


The Muipidans believed in many gods, but nobody worshipped all of them. They believed that everyone had an individual relationship with their gods, and this personal worship was the main way people expressed their identity in a society otherwise dominated by a rigid social hierarchy.

Early on this was very decentralized, with religious teachers called hupibiskindo roaming around promoting one deity or another and preaching how to live a proper life according to that deity. These teachers would start small sects of up to a few dozen people, worshipping that god. But as the state rose in power, it consolidated these beliefs into an approved pantheon of 60 gods, with each person choosing one of them to follow. Above them all was the sun god Emada, who everyone was expected to worship, and provided unity to the religious system.


The Muipidan notion of matter was that it took four basic forms: air, water, earth, and stone. These forms combined the two properties of solidity and moisture, with dry air and stone contrasting with wet water and earth, and solid stone and earth contrasting with fluid air and water. They believed in a cycle of life that moved matter between the different forms: living things breathed in air, converted it to water (in the form of blood or sap) and then earth (the substance of the body). In animals, the first conversion happened in the lungs, and the second in the stomach; in plants, the first happened in the leaves, the second in the stem or trunk. Death converted the earth back to stone as the body dried out, and this could be released back into air by burning. They thus practiced open-air burning of bodies, believing that it was proper for the substance of a body to be converted back to the air it came from.