Ritual and myths between Ireland and Galicia. The Irish Milesian myth in the Leabhar Gabhála Éireann: Over the Ninth Wave. Origins, contacts and literary evidence.
O'Reilly Vazquez, Monica (2011) Ritual and myths between Ireland and Galicia. The Irish Milesian myth in the Leabhar Gabhála Éireann: Over the Ninth Wave. Origins, contacts and literary evidence. Master of Arts thesis, Dublin City University.
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The aim of this dissertation is to investigate whether the Milesian myth in the Leabhar Gabhála Éireann is an accurate historical account and, therefore, this discussion explores the possibility that Galicia may share a Gaelic/Celtic cultural identity with Ireland. This dissertation proposes to compare the Milesians pre-Christian myths in the Leabhar Gabhála Éireann and their rituals, with those of Galicia, for example, The Ninth Wave. Early traces of Gaelic/Celtic Galician identity are difficult to identify, and the Celtic language of Galicia is no longer spoken; all that remain are place names which seem to have a foundation in Celtic lexis (Murguia, 2000, Caridad: 2006) This dissertation hypothesises that Galicia may have shared an early cultural identity with Ireland, as stated in the Milesian myth in the Leabhar Gabhála Éireann, chapter XIII. The framework for the thesis will be anthropological and I will therefore use anthropological methodologies in order to compare Irish/Galician myths and rituals, with a view to providing a description of a particular culture and the social foundations of this culture. For the first time, anthropological theory will be applied to the Milesian myth of the Leabhar Gabhála Éireann.
The cultural studies comparison between Ireland and Galicia will focus firstly on diachronic written material: I will thus analyse chapter XIII, that is, the Milesian myth in the Leabhar Gabhála Éireann, in order to establish its historical accuracy. I will also analyse some of Galician toponymy, which have no meaning in any Latin-based languages, and I will compare it to the Irish/Gaelic. Secondly, contemporary written material will be analysed, namely, a poem by the contemporary Galician poet Luz Pozo Garza, as translated by Irish poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.
The literature review will be based on the examination of the meaning and function of myth and ritual according to the anthropological perspectives of Malinowski, Frazer, Eliade, Puhvel and Durand, among others. The value of the structural theory of Leví-Strauss will be assessed in the light of the meaning of myth in the construction of identity.
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