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Author Topic: AS use of British folklore  (Read 17593 times)

ubique

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2010, 01:05:28 PM »
Good point mate for example the Germanic,Celtic,Slavic,Indian and possibly Persian/Iranian peoples use a world Tree that links them to an aspect of the Indo-European religion


Interesting you should mention Persian:  I have a friend who is Indian Parsi and whose religion is Zoroastrianism.   she once showed me her Holy Book and told me to open at the first page.   It said  --

BY NAME GAD.

Made me blink.

There is a Indo European tribe in the hindu kush on the north west frontier (Afghan/Pakistan border) called the Kalash who claim to be ancestors of Alexander the great but are probably part of an older Indo Europan group who like the AS pagans sacrifice animals in November.How deep AS heathenism is related to other IE religions is a bit of a minefield but the links are there.

ubique

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2010, 01:06:57 PM »
Dunno why its put my bit in your quote Jayson but you get the idea

Blackdragon

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2010, 11:51:18 AM »
The edicts of bishops and the laws of kings help to tell you what people got up to by saying what was forbidden. That includes dancing around dressed as animals, saluting the moon, honouring special trees and waterfalls etc., divination, keeping feasts at heathen sites, burning grain where a man has died etc.

Whilst I will be the first to admit that some of these could more readily be labelled Heathen practices, I doubt whether the majority of folk at that time would have appreciated much difference between folklore and beliefs.

As a folklorist I am always suspicious when allusion is made to Pagan origins for existing customs. Whilst not impossible, most of the oldest were either started (or arguably survived) through historic periods when anything even subtly suggesting the old religions was likely top get you executed as a witch or heretic. What I find interesting is that many old customs have now been claimed / re-claimed by modern Pagans as their own.
Waes thu Hael
Pete Jennings

ubique

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2010, 04:11:48 PM »
[As a folklorist I am always suspicious when allusion is made to Pagan origins for existing customs. Whilst not impossible, most of the oldest were either started (or arguably survived) through historic periods when anything even subtly suggesting the old religions was likely top get you executed as a witch or heretic. What I find interesting is that many old customs have now been claimed / re-claimed by modern Pagans as their own.
Waes thu Hael
Pete Jennings
[/quote]
 
Fair point but you could argue that western Christianity has picked up many Heathen/Pagan traditions from the early conversion period and claimed them as there own that many people may not have been able to tell where the old ways finished and the new faith started with the excpetion of worshipping God instead of one of the number of dieties of the old faith.

John Nicholas Cross

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2010, 04:36:06 PM »
Yes Ubique,  I agree 100% with what you say.

Blackdragon

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2010, 09:28:26 PM »
Yes I do not disagree, and I say that as a modern Heathen, who is also involved and interested in folk traditions. The early church deliberately blurred boundaries by getting festivals and sacred places to coincide e.g. Mellitus instructing them to re-use heathen temples as churches after they had blessed them, and All Hallows made to coincide with Samhain, Christmas to be near Mid Winter / Yule Solstice etc.

Folk traditions do change over time to suit new situations and ideas, or else they become irrelevant museum pieces and / or die out, since a folk tradition by its nature is done because people want to do it, rather than anyone in authority telling them to.

ubique

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2010, 09:56:56 PM »
Folk traditions do change over time to suit new situations and ideas, or else they become irrelevant museum pieces and / or die out, since a folk tradition by its nature is done because people want to do it, rather than anyone in authority telling them to.


I agree mate  A good example being the death metal/Gothic Morris dancers.I dont really know anything about morrising but from the snippets ive picked up its not seen as herecy just abit different.But I suppose the question is if every Morris team (if they are indeed called teams) is a death metal/Gothic morris team does that no longer make it Morris even if its link to the past is there.Buggerd if I know but id be interested in your opinion as a folkloreist

ubique

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2011, 07:02:13 PM »

 Just found a possible link between the AS and the folklore they came into contact with in Hwicce

Hwicce is Old English for trunk or chest. Some have also interpreted it as meaning "sacred vessel" and linked to the shape of the Vale of Gloucester and the Romano-British regional cult of a goddess with a bucket or cauldron. The goddess was probably known as the Mater Dobunna who seems to have been asssociated with West Country legends concerning the Holy Grail. The name survives in Wychwood in Oxfordshire, Whichford in Warwickshire, Wichenford and Wychbury Hill and Wychbold in Worcestershire and the modern Wychavon district (also Worcestershire).


Bowerthane

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2011, 10:09:14 PM »
Thanks for that, Ubique.  All but one of the leading child characters in the kiddies’ book I’m ( sometimes) writing grow up in the Wychlands, the part that is now Worcestershire, and the other is an eorl’s son from what is now Gloucestershire.  Also ( pardon me for not reminding myself how it all went) but IIRC the historical Lord Athelred and Lady Ethelflæda seem to have had a longhall and manor, possibly once owned by the Mercian royal house, in the valley of the Avon. 

So I thought I’d checked out that part of the world well enough, but Mater Dobunna is a new one on me.  May I trouble you for a few more details about her?  The Celtic goddess of the River Severn was remembered in Elizabethan times, so I make out local Mercians knew her as Lady Sabren in Lady Ethelflæda’s lifetime ( already a personification of the Severn Bore, having a bad foam day because she's never come across a daughter of King Alfred before) so how would you rate the chances of Mater Dobunna being known, in some shape or form, in the early tenth-century Wychlands?

.



ubique

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2011, 02:21:38 PM »
Well I dont know anything about her but this is what I have managed to dig up.

 Mater Dobunna (“Mother of the Dobunni” the Dobunni being the British tribe who lived in the area), who, the priestesses said, guarded the sacred cauldron of life within the boundaries of the tribe’s territory.

As for how well she was known to the AS again I have no idea im afriad,Mater Dobunna does not seem to be linked to the Severn or rivers in general but then again I have never heard of Lady Sabren so ill have a little dig at this when I get a chance.

If Mater Dobunna was seen as a tribal goddess to the Britons in this area my personal opinion is she may have been treated as sort of land Wight if they were aware of her at all or perhaps over time she took on an aspect of the AS pantheon or one of the Wyrd sisters or  Idesa (AS tribal mothers) but im just guessing really.

As for the Royal hall and manor again thats something ill be intrested to look into myself (Do you have a link?).Lady Ethelflæda was a fan of Gloucester she  founded a free chapel royal  to house the remains of St Oswald. She probably also refounded the city as a burh and laid out the street pattern which largely survives in the centre. It is thought that she probably also built a palace at Kingsholm Gloucester, which was later used by several Saxon and Norman kings for councils and parliaments. Probably the most famous occasion was that in 1085 after which William the Conqueror ordered the Domesday Surve

King Edward the Confessor held his Witan at Gloucester 9 times aswell.

Hope this helps with your book

Blackdragon

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2011, 06:15:24 PM »
If you are interested in Wychwood and like fantasy books, suggest you read Mythago Wood and Lavondys by Robert Holdstock, which incorporate a fair bit of folklore as well.

Cotswold style Morris  & sword dance teams are more usually known as 'sides'. Molly dancers are usually known as 'gangs', although other terms are used.

As for definitions, I guess it is up to the people who do the thing. If they believe they are Goth Metal Morris or whatever, then in their own eyes they are just that, regardless of what anyone else (pedantic folklorists included) thinks. If they repeat it enough it is what they will be known by, regardless of origins (just as I am known by a name I adopted in my teens rather than thew one on my birth certificate for example.)

Having re-established the Anglo Saxon & Viking sword dance within our re-enactment group over the last couple of years (from images of it on artefacts such as the Sutton Hoo Helm, Ekhammer figure etc.) I wonder what someone makes of that in a few hundred years, if the revival succeeds? (You can see an article about it on our site www.ealdfaeder.org

ubique

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Re: AS use of British folklore
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2011, 08:51:41 PM »
Anglo Saxon & Viking sword and spear dance  :)

Thats top stuff mate top stuff indeed,I dont suppose you have any videos of it we can see do you ?