Dingle Folk Tales, by Luke Eastwood, spotlights a small area in the Southwest of Ireland known as the Dingle Peninsula. West of Tralee, it juts out to claim the Westernmost point of the Island and it boasts many forts, settlements and standing stones with ties to the region’s ancient past.
Eastwood weaves a rich mosaic of Tales that not only touch on the antiquity of this place but include accounts running up to the very recent past. One moment you will be reading a tale of fairies, leprechauns or witches drawn from the rich oral traditions, then you will turn the page to read the story of Fungie the dolphin, who was a famous resident of Dingle harbour from 1983 until 2020.
The back and forth time travel these stories take the reader on begin to relate a sense of the spirit of Dingle itself and those who live there. This spirit of place has even moved the filmmakers of ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ and ‘Star Wars VII, VIII and IX’ to film there!
Eastwood draws from a wide range of sources, including traditional oral accounts that have a number of versions, where he settles on a telling that reflects the most local flavour. He also draws from modern translations of historical accounts and tales of epic battles. For the stories that take place in more recent times, his sources include interviews with residents and first-hand accounts.
The illustrations of Elena Danaan and Bob O’ Cathail give a touch of life to some of the stories and the variety of content is mixed in a way that keeps things fresh and interesting.
Although the subject of this book is not directly related to shamanism, its themes of magic and ties to ancient cultures are topics that are of interest to many of us on this path, not to mention those of us with a fondness for the Emerald Isle itself!
Book Details: Luke Eastwood. Dingle Folk Tales. Electric Publications (1 January 2022). ISBN: 978-1739862503. (Available in English and Irish)
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