Folklore and the Irish Diaspora Part II: Changelings and Cowboys

In this second part of a two-part blog series looking at the migration of folklore and belief, I look at how folklore has been used as a way to make sense of the emigrant experience and how in some cases new folklore emerges as people create new identities outside of the original homeland. Diaspora and…

Folklore and the Irish Diaspora Part I: Away… With the Fairies?

Away…. With the Fairies? This is a 2-part blog series looking at folklore and the migration of belief. In this first part I will look at the Irish fairy faith and ask whether those that emigrated to America took their fair folk with them or left them behind in Ireland, forever linked to place. In…

Discovering Brides Mound – People and Place

In the last post we looked at the many legends surrounding Brides Mound in Glastonbury.  Now I’d like to look at how people interact with this special place. How do people celebrate the land, and connect to the living mythical landscape?  How do the enduring legends contribute to the sense of the land as sacred,…

Discovering Brides Mound – Legends and Lore

To the west of the town of Glastonbury in South West Somerset, tucked between Wearyall Hill and the River Brue, lies an unassuming hill known as Brides Mound. Once hailed as the Western ‘Gateway to Avalon’ [1] the ancient entrance to the sacred islands, visitors to the spot now must make their way behind an…

What is Folklore?

What is folklore? Ever since I started mentioning to people that I’ve started studying for an MA in folklore studies I’ve been met with many a blank look and puzzled stare. Reactions range from just total incomprehension ‘What’s that?’ , via ‘Oh like woo-woo magic?’, through to ‘Isn’t that just things that aren’t true?’… So…