Friday, 12 September 2014

FOLKLORE ON FRIDAY - Soul of the Fields

At harvest time across northern Europe as the grain and wheat was reaped, it was traditional to make corn dollies from the stalks, with many regions having their own traditional patterns for these curious pieces of folk art.

However the corn dolly was more than just a seasonal craft pastime - it dates back to pagan times, when it was believed that the spirit of the fields needed an idol or avatar to reside in for the winter, hence the farmers made these dollies which where taken into their home to shelter the Spirit of the fields over the winter, and come spring the it was returned to the earth by ploughing the dolly into the first furrow...

The dollies in this photo are (from left to right) a Cambridgeshire Handbell, an Essex Ring Terret and a Yorkshire Spiral

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