Busto femenino púnico
Figura femenina púnico-ebusitano
For many of us, the Punic god Tanit has become a symbol of Ibiza. Even though we find Tanits picture all over the island, i.e.: Autos Tanit, Bar Tanit or in the ads for Mari Mayans spirits, we really know very little about this god.
Tanit, (known as the fertility god) arrived with the Phoenicians, 700 years ago A.C., where it was worshiped by the population.
Tanit’s powers included different areas; it was the owner of the sky, the moon, fertility and war. It was worshipped as a god that united the earth with the sky. Its masculine equivalent was known as Baal-Hammon, whose presence we find in many ancient religions of the Middle East. It was also known as the rain god, whose mercy was invoked sacrificing doves and sheep. Its symbols were the pomegranate, dove
Exterior de la cueva de Es Cuieram
and the lion.
Unfortunately very little about the cult and mythology of tanit is found in ancient writings. Due to this, many archaeologists think that it was known under different names because there are many parallels between other ancient gods. Its predecessor was Astarté, the god of love, whose origins go back to Ishtar and the Babylonian area. Later under roman influence, tanit became the god Juno.
Interior de la cueva de Es Cuieram
Also, many people compare tanit to the Greek god Demeter or with Heres, the wife of Zeus which leads us to the conclusion that there are many different names for the divine aspect of the feminine. The largest tanit temple excavations are being done in the north of Africa.
Here in Ibiza, its sanctuary is the Es Cuieram cave in the northeast of the island where one can still detect the god’s presence.