Hina: The Goddess

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Hina with child and lele bananas

Hina the Healer

The goddess Hina, in one of her many forms, was known as a healer. In this capacity she often took the form of lele bananas which were used in weaning children.

This special tall type of mountain banana was planted near an altar dedicated to the gods. Lele bananas were thought to have the unique ability to fly (lele) to the gods and obtain permission for weaning the child. Although the goddess Hina was the presiding deity of this ceremony, women were strictly forbidden to eat lele bananas.

Another meaning of the word lele is to have passed the menopause or for the breast to cease producing milk.

Curiously enough, this particular Hina was also the goddess of the sunrise and sunset. And her healing specialty was children's thrush disease.

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