In Irish mythology, Banba (modern spelling: Banbha, pronounced [ˈbˠanˠəvˠə]), daughter of Delbáeth and Ernmas of the Tuatha Dé Danann, is a patron goddess of Ireland. She was married to Mac Cuill, a grandson of the Dagda.
She was part of an important triumvirate of patron goddesses, with her sisters, Ériu and Fódla. According to Seathrún Céitinn she worshipped Macha, who is also sometimes named as a daughter of Ernmas. The two goddesses may therefore be seen as equivalent. Céitinn also refers to a tradition that Banbha was the first person to set foot in Ireland before the flood, in a variation of the legend of Cessair.
In the Tochomlad mac Miledh a hEspain i nErind: no Cath Tailten, it is related that as the Milesians were journeying through Ireland, "they met victorious Banba among her troop of faery magic hosts" on Senna Mountain, the stony mountain of Mes. A footnote identifies this site as Slieve Mish in Chorca Dhuibne, County Kerry. The soil of this region is a non-leptic podzol . If the character of Banba originated in an earth-goddess, non-leptic podzol may have been the particular earth-type of which she was the deification.
Initially, she could have been a goddess of war as well as a fertility goddess.
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