The Mother Goddess, the Moura in Galicia. International Celtic religiosity.

The Celts lived in large communities or tribes – called civitates* or nationes by the Roman historians – led by a chief, for instance Ambiorix, leader of the Eburones,  Ambigatos, king of the Bituriges or Boudicca queen of the Iceni, or Nicer Clutosi Priceps of the Albiones in Gallaecia. There were around sixty different peoples in Gaul, not counting the unrecorded septs* and the tribes of Narbonnensis, around twenty in Ireland and about thirty in Britain and Gallaecia. Those septs* shared cultural and religious ideas and were linked by economic ties, but they did not form a political entity or a homogenous whole. The tribes lived on a territory delimited by frontiers which were generally natural, such as a river, a forest, a mountain, etc. Gaulish, Galician and British epigraphy reveals that names of single goddesses or epithets of Matres, Matronae are ethnonyms*, i.e. names of tribes, which tends to prove that the Celtic peoples venerated goddesses bearing the name of their sept*. The tradition of ‘tribal-goddesses’ was also part of the beliefs of the Germanic peoples, for a significant number of Matres, Matronae, bearing ethnonymic* bynames* are known. For example, the Matronae Hamavehae are the Mother Goddesses of the sept* of the Chamavi the Matres Kannanefates of the Cananefates; the Matronae Vanginehae and the Matres Vagionae of the Vangiones; the Matres Suebae of the Suebi; the Matres Frisavae of the Frisiavi, the Matres/Matronae Cantrusteihae (Andrustehiae) of the Condrusi, and the Matribus Gallaicis[1], the Mother Goddeses of the Galicians.

The Queen Mother (the Moura)its represented alone with a huge sexual attributes may be engraved on the Stone Altarpiece of the sept or treba of Nemitos (Nemeton means shrine)in Galicia close Corunna; and other times has a form of a triad like in Ireland: Badb, Macha and Mórrígain are the three Mórrígna. This reference obviously indicates that the Mórrígain is the original entity, who could be turned into a triple goddess possessing various facets, names and forms.



[1] Matribvs Gallaicis, CIL II 2776

1 Response to " The Mother Goddess, the Moura in Galicia. International Celtic religiosity. "
  1. André Pena says:

    Before, during and after Roman rule, the Northwest of Altantic Iberia, Gallaecia, experienced a Celtic and Indoeuropean territorial organization, which still stayed alive until very late in the Middle Ages.
    The Political Territorial Organization of Gallaecia described in the ancient sources with Celtic ethnonyms, “names of tribes”, knew pre-roman names of Treba and Toudo. Both words define a common institutional system, a “Celtic princedom” (PENA 1994)- more appropriate than the term “Celtic Chiefdom” (ARNOLD & GIBSON 1995)

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