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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Before the Tuatha De Dannan ..... or Ladies First

The dates are my best guesses of the moment. The order entails the best guesses of a variety of experts:
8000 BC: Casire
7000 BC: Partholon
6000 BC: Nemed
5000 BC: Fomorian (Sea People)
4000 - 2000 BC: Fir Blog (Invernic)
3000 - 1900 BC Tuatha De Danan
2000 - 1700 BC: Milesians
And they are still stacking up today.

Here I'll say a few words about Casire. Later I hope to say a bit about Partholon. Cessair or Kessir, or Casire is the Lady with whom I will begin. In 10,000 years one may be referred to in more than one way. Kessir convinced her father that they didn't have to despair because they were denied a place on the Ark. And with that beginning she became the leader of the first "Invader" of Ireland before the Biblical flood. She was the daughter of Noah's son and Bith's wife, Birren. Cessair, along with three men: Bith, her father; Ladra, the navigator; and Fintan, the famous. These four along with fifty women sailed for more than seven years. They finally landed on Don na mBarc on Bantry Bay in County Cork. The arrived forty days before The Flood.

Cessair died of a broken heart at Cuil Cearach in Connacht. Who'll tells that story? She is said to be buried on the summit of Knockmaa in Galway. The rest of her companions died in the Flood, accept for Fintan mac Bochra .... but that starts another story. Could you believe that he became a salmon?

The long and curious story I have hinted at above was told and written as an attempt to Christianize legend that pre-dates 'conversion' and has been called a pseudo history by some. The of the story date it between about 2300 and 2200 BC. But, for now I am dating certain of the happenings much earlier. 

Look for Cessair and Fintan stories on-line and at your library. I invite you to tell us here  about the stories you find. Histories and herstories.

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