In general, I may say that these part-time collectors have been excellent, because we do our best to pick them carefully. -Seán Ó Súilleabháin, 1950 On walking into the archive of the National Folklore Collection (NFC), you are greeted by walls of numbered manuscripts. To your right are the rolling shelves holding the bright green … Continue reading Part-time Collecting for the Irish Folklore Commission
The number of persons who can tell the seanscéal (mӓrchen) is gradually being reduced; and soon but few remain to recount in traditional style this once popular type of folktale. Séamus Ó Duilearga, The Gaelic Storyteller With this thought in mind, much energy was spent in the early days of the Irish Folklore Commission on … Continue reading Organising Folktales
Culture and Tradition and the Protestants of Independent Ireland
The Protestant ascendancy, and members of the wealthy upper middle classes, have tended to dominate in discussions of the Protestants of independent Ireland, with little knowledge of the cultural or folk aspects of Protestants’ identity and behaviour or of the socio-economic diversity of Irish Protestants. In particular, the experiences of rural and urban working-class Protestants … Continue reading Culture and Tradition and the Protestants of Independent Ireland
Fly me to the moon!
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module (Eagle) on the moon, as Michael Collins orbited the moon in the command module (Pilot). Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16 and returned to Earth on July … Continue reading Fly me to the moon!
Who Do You Belong To?
The question ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ might be more aptly posed in Ireland as ‘Who Do You Belong To?’ A curious query for those unaccustomed to native norms but this is a common refrain in many local communities, where you are known as much by your lineage as by your own fame (or … Continue reading Who Do You Belong To?
I See Your True Colours…
There is a certain note of heartbreak that attends the discovery of a stray red sock in a white wash. Things are just never the same again, are they? We’ve all borne that painful scar, as we’ve bid farewell to our favourite white shirt. But how many of us take the time to ponder these … Continue reading I See Your True Colours…
Show, don’t just tell
Moments in Motion from the National Folklore Collection’s Photographic Archive Traditional customs and practices, particularly those no longer forming part of our daily lived experience, can often be difficult to envisage. We can read intricate written descriptions, or listen to vivid audio recollections, but sometimes all you really need is a photograph to bring the … Continue reading Show, don’t just tell