Roadmap: TÁIN – The Women’s Stories


Posted 2 weeks ago in Arts & Culture Features

“He was like all interfering druids who lie on their wattles, with their chants and their moans, with their eyes rolling back in their heads. They have meetings with death, or so they say. After, they come back to the world supposed to be wise and able to tell everyone what to do; predictions that are supposed to prevent terrible things from happening. But maybe their big oracle gibs are the cause of what happens instead of the cure.”

 

The Táin is an epic from Irish mythology often likened to The Iliad. Set in the first century it tells the tale of tells of a war against Ulster by Queen Meadhbh of Connacht and her husband King Ailill who intend to steal Bó Cúailnge in a ‘raid’.

Now it is retold in 11 chapters, from the perspectives of the women, by Karina Tynan, accompanied by illustrations by her daughter Kathy.

 

“The stories capture the hearts and souls of the women, bringing them alive in a deeply personal way, through a backdrop of death and slaughter,” says Tynan as she attempts to retrieve a tale “locked into definiton” with presumptions such as the “promiscuousness and hedonism” of Queen Meadhbh.

 

Táin: The Women’s Stories is published by Bard Mythologies, €25, available from karinatynan.com and in the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Winding Stair, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios and Connolly Books.

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