Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles.

Tag Archives: folklore

The Two Sisters ~ An Old Ballad

The well of Inis Clothran, where Medb of Cruachan met her death, has murky depths, or at least,  the tale of Medb and her sisters  is somewhat opaque. As we discussed in the podcast , there are some unanswered questions. Does Medb kill Cothru or Ethne, or both of her sisters? Is Furbaide Clothru’s son …

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Dindshenchas 03: The Well and the Cheese – The Unlikely Story of Medb and her Sisters

Inis Clothrann, the largest island of Lough Ree, Co. Longford, is famous for more than just its venerable monastic remains.  It was here that Medb of Crúachán would bathe in the island’s well in fulfilment of a geis, imposed for killing at least one of her sisters.  It was at this same well she met her death. …

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REPOST: Don’t shout – Someone might hear you!

NOTE: This article was originally posted to accompany the episode Series 2: The Battle of Moytura – Episode 10: The Children of Tuirenn Part 2 – Three Shouts on a Hill.  These are some of the ideas that kicked off the current series dedicated to Dindshenchas! I am writing this article, or more accurately an …

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Don’t shout. Someone might hear you! – A look back at the “Children of Tuirenn” from across the world.

 I am writing this article, or more accurately an addendum to the notes on ‘The Children of Tuireann’ article , in sunny Brisbane. However, I have just returned from a few days in Kakadu in the Northern Territories, a journey that left me thinking. I got to see a lot of estuarine crocodiles, often very …

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The Landscape of a Story ~ notes to accompany the podcast episode

Notes intended to be read as an accompaniment to the podcast episode As we mentioned in the podcast, examining the story of Moytura is somewhat like staring into the reflecting levels of a lake. You may focus your vision on the ripple-transformed surface or look deeper into the shadowed depths for hidden treasures. Observing and …

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Goibniu and the Gobbán Sáor

In the podcast episode on “The Four Craftsmen”, we discussed the manner in which characters found only within the saga of Moytura developed an enduring popularity in folklore and story. This would seem to have particular relevance in the case of Goibniu the Dé Danann smith. Goibniu is certainly connected, if not cognate, with the …

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Notes on the Festival of Lughnasagh

The subject of Lughnasagh is worthy of  a whole podcsst  episode on its own, as are any of the traditional Irish festivals.  We may well examine these these in more detail sometime in the future. In essence, however, Lughnasagh is a festival that marks an important phase in the agrarian year.  It is the close …

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Samhain Special: Corpse Carrying For Beginners

An Acallam na nÉces Samhain Special In this seasonal special, the Story Archaeologists compare two stories of Samhain.  It’s a time for ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night… but what could such stories tell us about life 100 or even 1,000 years ago? Find out as the Story Archaeologists go …

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John Barleycorn

In the folklore of the British Isles, John Barleycorn represents the barley crop harvested each autumn. John Barleycorn endures much, corresponding to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and death. Our English (and Scottish) John Barleycorn has become a celebration of the barley crop and its intoxicating products – beer and whisky – but he …

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The Birth of Lugh ~ The oral tradition

The birth of Lugh, as recounted in the podcast, is  found  only in the oral tradition, most commonly in Donagal. It was collected and written down as “Balor on Tory Island” 1894).  As the book is now out of copyright, you can read it online or download it for free from Archive.org:  http://archive.org/details/herotalesofirela00curtuoft

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