7/13/2008

Goddess of the week - Ningal

Name: Ningal
Location: Sumer
Sphere of influence: Goddess of reed/the moon
Famous portraits: The one shown here is one of the few (probable) portraits of the goddess

Ningal was daughter of Enki, god of sweet waters and crafts, and Ninikuga, goddess of reeds and marches. She herself caught the attention of Nanna the moon-god and became his wife. They were the parents of Utu and Inanna - and according to some texts Ishkur. She was goddess of reed and through her connection with Nanna she became viewed as a moon-goddess too.

Ningal was an important deity in Ur, especially during the third dynasty (2112-1950 BC). It was during that time the temple E-karzida was built in her honour.

The worship of Ningal were later adopted by Ugarit/Caanan where her named was transformed to Nikkal-wa-lb, or just Nikkal. Later still she was to be worshiped by the Phoenicians too. By then she was identified as a goddess of orchards, but still married to the moon-god.

The portrait of the Ningal seen in this post has been thought to represent the goddess, but we do not know for sure. It is made of alabaster.

There is a Marvel Comics character named after and loosely based on Ningal. In the series she is not a goddess but a demon. She was created by Gardner Fox and Ernie Chua and first appeared in 1973.

No comments: