FEMALE NAMES NANA AND NINO AND THEIR CONNECTION WITH THE GEORGIANS’ BELIEFS
The popularity of female names Nana and Nino, common among the Georgians, should be closely connected with the Georgians’ religion. Nana, with mythical great mother and Nino, with the real teacher of faith and enlightener of the Georgians, who converted the Kingdom of Kartli. The study of how these names got into Georgian environment led us to some hypothesis. If basing on the existing rich scientific literature we may assume that there existed certain ethnic, linguistic and cultural relations between Sumer and Georgia, which were also reflected in similar beliefs. Thus, the name of the goddess Nana may have been derived from the Sumerian Inanna /Nin-ana and introduced in Georgia. This could particularly be supported by the fact that Inanna was not only the most popular goddess throughout the Sumerian existence in Sumer, but rather, because of its universal popularity, the name was generally used to denote a goddess. If our reasoning is correct, it is not surprising that the greatest pre-Christian Georgian goddess Nana was named after Inanna.
However, the great mother Nana and Inanna / Ishtar are somewhat different in nature. Mother Nana is great mother, the goddess of childbearing; connected with universal fertility, earth, paradise, life-and-death, the goddess of astral cults, who originated during the period of high development of solar religious beliefs. Unlike Nana Inanna / Ishtar is the goddess related with carnal love, war, heaven, Venus the star, and in some cases has androgynous nature. She is believed to have nothing to do with childbearing, and is the mate of Dumuzi – mortal and retrievable male deity. Since Inanna / Ishtar is not the "wife of the deity", she does not reveal any connection with childbearing, with one exception, her corresponding deity in Georgian mythical-religious beliefs is Dali. Like Inanna, Dali is the goddess of carnal love, nature, especially hunting in our case and at the same time the patron of hunters. Actually, she also has one son, Amiran. Lastly, Dali, too, is associated with Venus the star and is depicted as ibex (deer), plant and star in early landscape painting.
Keywords: History of religion, goddesses, Sumer, Georgia.