Michael Houlihan In Search Of Dreamtime Of County Clare

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Code LB9


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About this Book

There is a Clare awaiting our re-discovery, lying in cleat sight but now rarely seen. It comes from a time when the fortunes of the countryside had a direct and immediate impact of the welfare of it’s inhabitants. Through practices and ceremonies, the early pioneers cajoled the land, always mindful of it's moods and signals. This deep relationship was at the heart of Clare's Dreamtime, when the two, man and nature, were deeply entwined.

Full of engaging natural features, the countryside has layers of myths, archaeology, placenames, stories and artefacts laid down by previous generations.

These manmade additions enhanced the terrain and created a storied land. Nurtured by references in daily speech, it was endlessly feted. This cherished, almost-sentient landscape only began to withdraw from view in the early nineteenth century, when outside cultures impinged ever more on Clare rural life.

A new-found rationalism slowly denuded the land of mystery and wonder. This book covers a time from first peoples to early medieval times. Along the way, rich traditions allied to the landscape were lost, with only traces now remaining. These we hope to find again. 

From the manmade world, objects of stone, metal and wood offer clues to earlier beliefs and values. We look also at those numinous others who shared the landscape with Clare residents. These included the fairy host and those who had departed life, leaving a shadow trail in their wake. Finally we turn to Clare's Gaelic scribes and poets, whose memories were longest and tongues sweetest, to get their interpretation of the Dreamtime.

This Dreamtime quest is motivated as much by instinct as reflection as it seeks to affirm an older elemental Clare that still lingers out
there - across the bog or behind the hill. 

The book is the third in a series, the earlier volumes being 'The Holy Wells of County Clare' and 'The sacred Trees of County Clare'.


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