Snátha den Seansaol – Strands of Traditional Life
What was the role of folklore in traditional Irish life? How do age-old beliefs shape a society?
In this collection of essays the folklore scholar Pádraig Ó Héalaí explores diverse aspects of Irish tradition and how these underpinned the lives of multiple generations – particularly on the Blasket Islands but also in traditional communities across the country.
From attitudes to pregnancy on the Great Blasket, parents’ relationship with their children, to the role of magic in folk medicine, and prejudice towards Travellers in Irish legends – here we have a comprehensive overview of fascinating, often long-forgotten, beliefs and practices.
Based on source material in the National Folklore Collection, writings from the Blaskets and the author’s own fieldwork, with accompanying illustrations, Snátha den Seansaol gives a snapshot of the functioning of folklore in traditional Irish communities, a diorama of a largely vanished world.
Each Irish essay includes an abstract in English by the author.