Straw, Hay & Rushes in Irish Folk Tradition

€45.00

Anne O’Dowd

Winner of the ACIS Michael J. Durkan Prize 

Fully illustrated history of everyday rural Irish life, based on the National Museum of Ireland’s collection of straw, hay and rushes. A fascinating insight into Irish crafts and rituals, Anne O’Dowd uncovers a unique history of folklore and tradition in the creation and use of objects made from humble organic materials.

ISBN:9780716533108.
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Product Description

The humble organic materials of straw, hay and rushes were utilised throughout the centuries in Ireland for a myriad of uses. The heyday of their use as objects were the 18th and 19th centuries, when travellers to Ireland often wrote disparaging and derogatory accounts of what they saw – saddles of straw, sleeping on rushes, restricting animals with tethers and spancels of bark and animal hair, and wearing crudely-made straw and rush hats. Yet the people who produced and utilised these objects were both ingenious and thrifty, making use of what they could find at no cost and using their learned skills to make objects which we now see as having not only function, but also beauty.

Anne O’Dowd’s powerful and lavishly illustrated work looks at the historical context of the making of a wide range of useful and ceremonial objects, and the folklore of belief and custom connected with the materials and practices. The thousand or so objects made from straw, hay and rushes in the National Museum of Ireland’s Irish Folklife Collection are the foundation of the study. The book is beautifully illustrated with colour and black and white images, and presents a fascinating insight into Irish crafts and rituals and their ancient origins.

About the Author

Anne O’Dowd recently retired from the National Museum of Ireland, where she was a Curator for more than thirty years. She continues to write on Irish folk life and also works on landscape design projects.

Additional Information

Author

Anne O’Dowd

Imprint

Irish Academic Press

Publication Date

21st September 2015

Format

Hardback

EXTENT

450 pp