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About Photography / Professional Kenny KleinMale/United States Group :iconshort-hair-beauty: Short-Hair-Beauty
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I love this. I like the lo res quality; we live in an age of perfect lenses and perfect camera elements. Sometimes lo res or blurred fi...

Brave. by daveryanis

This is a beautiful model. I like the 3/4 angle a lot. I also like the selective focus of the subject and background. You probably know...


My most recent deviation is an acrylic painting called Mari/Mari Lwyd. Odd title, right? I thought I'd shed some light on the research I did on Mari and the Mari Lwyd, both from Welsh lore.

Mari is, perhaps, a mysterious figure in mythology. There is a lot of lore about Mari in Basque culture, the culture of the indigenous people who live in the Pyrenees mountains of France and Spain. That Mari is said to live in various caves in the mountains, sitting and combing her beautiful hair. When she rides her goat to move from cave to cave, it storms.  I painted a scene of the Basque Mari about a year ago:…

But Mari seems to have been worshiped by the Celts as well, though little research exists to support that. What does remain is the memory of Mari in names of places, folkloric names, and rituals.

One ritual that may bear Mari's name is the Welsh Mari Lwyd. the Mari Lwyd is a contraption made of a horse's skull, sackcloth, ribbons and flowers. A person fits inside the Mari Lwyd, and a procession follows the horse from home to home at Christmastide, singing wassailing carols.

What is odd about the Mari Lwyd is its etymology. No one seems to have a literal translation. One researcher claimed it means 'holy Mary,' but it was pointed out to him that Mari for the religious figure Mary was not used in early Welsh. Another theory is that it means 'grey mare,' but again, finding uses of Mari for Mare is challenging, and no scholarly research backs it up.

However, if you postulate that Mari was a Goddess worshiped by Welsh Celts before the Roman era, and that Mari was associated with horses, the term begins to make a lot more sense. Horses were a very common icon in Celtic myth, and represent sovereignty. The Irish kings would, at their coronation, have sex with a white mare, which would then be slaughtered and cooked, and it's flesh eaten by the assembled crowds: this represented the king's right to rule as given by the Goddess, in the form of the horse. (I know. Ick). A symbolic horse was also created out of wood by sailors on British ships, and thrown into the sea after thirty days as a sign that the sailors were free of the land (and that it was pay day). This ritual was accompanied by a song, heard here:…

Now we see that the Mari lwyd ritual may be named 'Mari's Grey' (Mari's Grey Mare), and represent the return of life to the land signaled by the winter solstice. Similar rituals are found in British Morris Dance, using the hobby horse, also made of the head of a horse with a dancer inside.

The brilliant poet/musician/storyteller/harper/demigod/hippie musician/folklorist Robin Williamson (of the Incredible String Band, NOT of Mork fame) hypothesizes that many names and terms in British mythology come from the lore of Mari. He believes that the Morris Dance, a very old Welsh and English ritual folk dance, may come from 'Mari's dance,' and that in the Robin Hood legend the 'Merry Men' are actually 'Mari's Men' (as well as Maid Marion being derived from Mari). He also suggests that May is the merry month because it is 'Mari's month.' Indeed, May is named for the Roman Goddess Maia, whose name may be etymologically linked to Mari.

So I painted Mari the Goddess dancing with the Mari Lwyd, bedecked in ribbons and flowers; I also shaped the flower-decked reigns to suggest another Morris Dance ritual, the Garland Dance, the traditional Morris Dance done by women.
  • Mood: Astonished
  • Listening to: Richard Thompson
  • Reading: Thessily-Witch For Hire
  • Watching: the Voice (there I said it)
  • Playing: With Fate
  • Eating: yummy food


Kennyfiddler's Profile Picture
Kenny Klein
Artist | Professional | Photography
United States
Current Residence: New Orleans
deviantWEAR sizing preference: Mine. Yours, if applicable.
Favourite genre of music: British Isles, Goth, Folk, Appalachian, Delta Blues
Favourite photographer: Loretta Lux, Jan Saudek, Kathy Tackett
Favourite style of art: Pop Surrealism, Impressionism
MP3 player of choice: They're all about the same to me.
Skin of choice: Mine. Yours, if applicable.
Favourite cartoon character: Rocket J Squirrel
Personal Quote: Huh?

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hellogoodbye30 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
thanks for fav 
Queen-Kitty Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015   Photographer
Thank you for the favorites!  I'm really glad you enjoyed my photography!
firedaemon Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2015  Professional Filmographer
Thank you very much for the watch :)
ianwh Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
thanks for the +fav +fav 
auguste59 Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015
Arkonis Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2015   Photographer
Thanks for Star 6 by Arkonis  
SaberTompsonModel Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2015
Thanks for the favs! :ahoy:
The-Pagan-Gallery Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thank you for your contribution to our group!

Blessed be,

jamare Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the +fav on Artemis
Kennyfiddler Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Professional Photographer
;) (Wink) 
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