The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120379   Message #2618421
Posted By: Jim Carroll
25-Apr-09 - 08:01 AM
Thread Name: Riddle Songs??
Subject: RE: Riddle Songs??
Ah well, we can't get it right all he time - we'll all have to wait till you produce your book on 'The Revised Veiw of World Folksong and Folklore' - too late for'Folkie Lucy' I'm afraid.
In the meantime the rest of us will have to struggle on with the likeof Prof. McKillop's less dogmatic view:
Sheela-na-gig, Sheila-na-gig [Ir. Sile na gCioch, Sheila (Caecilia) of the breasts].
Stone carvings from medieval Ireland and elsewhere depicting a naked woman with her legs apart, revealing her vagina. Although the pose would often be con¬sidered obscene, many surviving examples are found in churches. In the British Isles most are found in Ireland, with smaller numbers in England, Wales, and Scotland; arguably some instances may be found in France. Although their precise origin, date, and significance have never been satisfactorily explained,-speculations have not been wanting. They may be borrowed from French Romanesque depictions of the sin of lust, meant as a warning. They may be fertility figures, used as a cure for barrenness. Recent feminist commentators have suggested they may be reminders of the primal earth mother whose rule over life and death pre-dated Christianity. See H. Hickey, Images of Stone (Belfast, 1976); Jorgen Andersen, The Witch on the Wall (London, 1977); James H. Dunn, 'Síle-na-gCíoch', Eire-Ireland, 12(1) (1977), 68-85; Helen Lanigan Wood, 'Women in Myths and Early Depictions', in Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (ed.), Irish Women: Image and Achievement (Dublin, 1985), 12-24; Eamonn Kelly, Sheela-na-gigs: Origin and Functions (Dublin, 1997).
As for 'The Black Death' myth - Alice Gomme pretty much kicked that one into touch back in the 1890s.
Modesty isn't one of your stronger qualities, is it?
Jim Carroll