According to modern studies, proto-Mezapatist beliefs first appeared around 2700 BP, by distinguising itself from other animist beliefs. Since these traditions were, up until 200BP, passed down orally from generation to generation, accounts of the various gods and related stories would vary from one locale to the next, and the regional differences would be so extreme as to completely redefine the role a specific deity plays in the entire belief system.
Mezapatism was first codified in the year 90 AP by paje Alandro Pacuahara, and this "standard" version of the religion slowly spread to most of the believers over the next few decades. Pacahuara established the Ipicuera Mongeta as an attempt to unify the faith under one single structure.
Beliefs and rituals
Mezapatism is an animist religion - that is, all things in nature, such as animals, plants, the rivers and the skies possesses a spiritual essence. A shaman (paje), normally a village elder, occupies the role of mediator between the spiritual and physical worlds, capable of communicating with the gods and the deceased.
The Mezapatist pantheon is composed of a number of deities:
- Abasai, the war god. A small part of Abasai's spirit is said to flow within every Mezapatani warrior ready for battle.
- Angara, godess of fire.
- Casare, god of agriculture.
- Guaraci, the sun god, the creator of the world and of mankind.
- Iara, the godess of the seas and rivers.
- Jaci, godess of the moon, love and reproduction.
- Sumé, god of order.
- Tupa, god of thunder and chaos.
Other entities include:
- Añangoa, the wandering spirits of the death who, for some reason, failed to reach the afterlife and are left behind, tormenting the living.
- Anãngoera, the protectors of wildlife.
- Pimba, the spirits of mischief.
A Mezapatist cult session (a misa, from the Arosian word for "mass") occurs at a shrine (eclesa) and involves a session of reflections on one's previous good and bad deeds, traditional praying and singing and, at the end, a communal meal. The believers may then consult the paje for counseling. The paje may then turn for guidance from the gods and the spirits - this involves the consuming of daime or other hallucinogenic plants.
Mezapatism has a very loose organizational structure. The Ipicuera Mongeta ("Council of the Myth") was stablished in 95 AP in an attempt to unify the religion under one single hierarchy, but this has largely failed. The local groups of Mezapatists at each of the eclesas operate mostly independently from each other. The role of the Ipicuera Mongeta, thus, became the running of charities, priestly schools and convening councils of pajes in order to decide on major ethical themes, such as the religion's stance on same-sex marriage or abortions.