Sun Goddess Traditional Dresses Biography
Amaterasu (天照?), Amaterasu-ōmikami (天照大神／天照大御神?) or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神?) is a part of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. The name Amaterasu derived from Amateru meaning "shining in heaven." The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great august kami (Gama or God) who shines in the heaven". The Emperor of Japan is said to be a direct descendant of Amaterasu.
.The oldest tales of Amaterasu come from the ca. 680 AD Kojiki and ca. 720 AD Nihon Shoki, the oldest records of Japanese history. In Japanese mythology, Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, is the sister of Susanoo, the god of storms and the sea, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon. All three were born from Izanagi, when he was purifying himself after entering Yomi, the underworld, after failing to save Izanami. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed out his left eye, Tsukuyomi was born from the washing of the right eye, and Susanoo from the washing of the nose.
She became the ruler of the sun and the heavens along with her brother, Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon and ruler of the night. Originally, Amaterasu shared the sky with Tsukuyomi, her husband and brother until, out of disgust, he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi, when she pulled "food from her rectum, nose, and mouth" This killing upset Amaterasu causing her to label Tsukuyomi an evil god and split away from him; separating night from day.
The texts also tell of a long-standing rivalry between Amaterasu and her other brother, Susanoo. When he was to leave Heaven by orders of Izanagi, he went to bid his sister goodbye. Amaterasu was suspicious, but when Susanoo proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity, she accepted. Each of them took an object of the other's and from it birthed gods and goddesses. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo's sword while he birthed five men from her necklace. Claiming the gods were hers because they were born of her necklace, and the goddesses were his, she decided that she had won the challenge, as his item produced women. The two were content for a time, but her brother became restless and went on a rampage, destroying Amaterasu's rice fields, hurling a flayed pony at her loom, and killing one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, who was in fury and grief, hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato ("heavenly rock cave"), thus effectively hiding the sun for a long period of time. Though she was persuaded to leave the cave, Susanoo was punished by being banished from Heaven. Both later amended their conflict when Susanoo gave her the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword as a reconciliation gift.
According to legend, Amaterasu bequeathed to her descendant Ninigi the Yata no Kagami mirror, Yasakani no Magatama jewel or orb, and the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword. This sacred mirror, jewel, and sword collectively became the three Imperial Regalia of Japan.
Sun Goddess was founded in 2000 and the idea was to harvest stories and images of South African Traditions through fashion. Our heritage stories celebrate a regal Africa that transcends time and fashion, with fashion as means of self articulation. The designs are quintessentially South African as highlighted in the rare and exquisite signature handiwork, fabrics and unique palettes, thereby defining African luxury. We are also inspired by the possibility of taking what has made us dream in the past and renewing it while still maintaining its fundamentals. We look at heritage & history and put it in our own context and that continues to fuel the evolution of the Sun Goddess luxury lifestyle.
South African Clothing
From the design studio of Sun Goddess Clothing.Sun Goddess is one of South Africa's top clothing lines. We were met by Mr. and Mrs. Mangaliso, a Xhosa couple, who are the owners/designers of Sun Goddess. The interview was held in a small meeting room. This meant that some of us could not fit.
So, I had to patiently wait in the hallway for the ladies to finish the interview. Ilana told me all about her conversation with the designers and how they base their clothing on traditional Xhosa design. You will need to watch the video to hear about their creative process and the South African fashion scene...I suppose I will do the same!
The ladies (Meredith included) stepped out of the makeshift dressing room to show us the incredible outfits they got to try on. I know this may sound boring for me, but it was actually pretty amazing to see them all dressed up! Meredith came out in a full African headscarf, a huge beaded necklace, and a beautiful white dress. She looked like an African bride. Ilana got to try on a brown leather and red silk dress that was custom made for Miss Teen South Africa. Sarah worked a very traditional piece of clothing that looked like an apron or pinafore, which is called an ncebetha. It was bright yellow and hand-beaded. All of the designs they modeled had to be corseted (or laced) up the sides or back. To do this, they each had one to two dressers that laced them up. This made them all look VERY skinny! Though, they all mentioned it was a bit tough to breathe! Ilana, in particular, did not want to take the dress off and thought about running away in it.