About this item
The humble organic materials of straw, hay, and rushes were utilized throughout the centuries in Ireland for a myriad of uses. The heyday of their use as objects were the 18th and 19th centuries, when travelers 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 utilized 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 are now seen as having not only function, but also beauty. Author Anne O'Dowd's powerful and lavishly illustrated book 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 this study. The book is beautifully illustrated with color/black and white images, and presents a fascinating insight into Irish crafts and rituals and their ancient origins.
Number of Pages: 560
Genre: Social Science, Art, History
Sub-Genre: Social History, Folk + Outsider Art, Folklore + Mythology
Publisher: Intl Specialized Book Services
Author: Anne O'Dowd
Street Date: December 22, 2015
Item Number (DPCI): 248-07-4459
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