Ingui

Meaning of Name:  Unknown, although the word ‘Ingwine’ or ‘Friend’s of Ing’ appears as a byname of the Danes in Anglo-Saxon sources.

Pronunciation: The first ‘i’ is pronounce as the ‘i’ in ‘thing’ and ‘ui’ sounds similar to the word ‘we’, or French ‘oui’.

Other names: Ing, Ingui Frēa ‘Lord Ingui’, Yngvi Freyr (Old Norse), *Ingwaz (Proto-Germanic)

Function: Ingui is the divine progenitor of the Ingaevones, the West Germanic cultural group which bore His name. Included in this cultural group were the predecessors of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes – the three most prominent tribes which settled in England during the Migration Period.

According to Norse sources, Ingui is the Lord-of-Elves[1], and as such, the one who oversees the good, ancestral dead within the mound. This role as God of Mound-Dead places Him as a Chthonic, underworld deity. There is some speculation that the barrow was intended as symbolic of the ‘womb’, where it was believed the dead could eventually be reborn from the Earth [2]. This would suggest that Ingui, while being God of Ancestors, is also God of rebirth and cyclical renewal.

Ingui is also a God of masculine fecundity and virility, suggested by the images of Him sporting a large, erect phallus. As fertility deity, He sees to the proliferation of men and the husbandry of animals. Ingui acts as the masculine counterpart to Frīg’s feminine muliebrity.

Iconography: Figurines found throughout England sporting large phalluses are thought to represent Ingui in his role as male fertility deity. Any phallic imagery is seemingly apropos. In Norse mythology, Yngvi Freyr is closely associated with the boar , a symbol which features prominently on Vendel Era and Anglo-Saxon helmets.

Attested Sources:  Ing appears in the rune poem of the same name as a hero among the East Danes and as Ingui in the Royal Genealogies of Bernicia. He is also referenced obliquely in Beowulf when Hrothgar is referred to as ‘frēa Ingwine’, or ‘Lord of the friends of Ing’.

Interpretatio Romana: None. Possibly Mercurius by way of Gaulish Moccus, the God of swine.

Contemporary Bīnaman: Ælfcyning (Elf-King), Beorgweard (Mound-Ward), Æhteman (Husbandman), Eowend (Virility), Swīnen (Of the Swine)

[1]Grímnismál, The Poetic Edda
[2]  Bryan Weston Wyly 2007. pp. 323-324.

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