Ralaghan Man

Ralaghan Man?

Ralaghan Man. National Museum of Ireland.

This anthropomorphic figure, carved from Yew, is part of an exhibition entitled Kingship & Sacrifice at the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street.

It was discovered in Ralaghan bog, Co.Cavan in 1930. Initially, it was described as a female figure, possibly 500 years old. It turned out it dates as far back as the Middle Bronze Age, if not further.

Curiosity in the Bog. New York Newspaper 1931.

Curiosity in the Bog. New York Newspaper 1931.

Although originally thought to be female, due to the absence of its male member, it is now referred to Ralaghan man. This is because a gouged hole in the public area probably held male genitalia. It is rumoured that the missing piece was found but never handed in to the museum.

Ralaghan Woman?

Ralaghan Woman? A close up of the Ralaghan figure on exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland.

The figure was found on a boundary and therefore is presumed to be a boundary marker, though it has also been described in some literature as a votive offering.

In the prehistoric period of Irish history, the land was a female goddess. A King was chosen to marry the land. If the marriage was a success, the harvest would be plentiful. A failed harvest meant an the goddess was unhappy with her groom.  If this was the case, the king would be sacrificed to the goddess.

That is a simple summation of a very interesting period of Irish prehistory.

I have created a wikipedia page for this very important figure which you can access by clicking here.

 

9 thoughts on “Ralaghan Man

  1. How fabulous to find a wiki entry for Ralaghan Man and a link to this lovely site. I can’t find an email for you but I was going to ask if you have any photographs of the Corlea figure, also in the Kingship and Sacrifice museum. I am a writing novel involving these powerful totems and any info and images on either figure is a blessing. Warmest wishes, Jim

  2. How fabulous to find a wiki entry for Ralaghan Man and a link to this lovely site. I can’t find an email for you but I was going to ask if you have any photographs of the Corlea figure, also in the Kingship and Sacrifice museum. I am a writing a novel involving these powerful totems and any info and images on either figure is a blessing. Warmest wishes, Jim

  3. Pingback: Taghart Mountain, County Cavan, Ireland. | na rudai ata i mo cheann

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