Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Mythology Corner:The Hungry Man and The Hungry Grass

Hello lovelies! 

It has been a woefully long time since I did a mythology post and a recent conversation with a fellow blogger Chris reminded me of a story I once heard about a kind of famine spirit.

Before we begin I just want to put out a disclaimer that I write these posts for fun and because I have an interest in the subject! Nothing here can be said to be 100% accurate or anything. If you read anything on my blog and are interested in it I'd highly recommend doing some research of your own too as I am by no means an authority on this stuff. Having written a Masters Thesis I do know how to do proper research and such but these posts are tidbits of information gleaned from the interwebs and perhaps my own knowledge from stories growing up. 

Ok so onto the juicy details! Now there are different spins on both of these concepts so I will outline the ones I came across.

An Fear Gorta means Man of Hunger/Man of Famine. Fear is man and Gorta is famine. According to W.B. Yeats An Fear Gorta roamed the earth during famine times and would beg from passers by. Those who were generous would receive good luck but those too selfish to put their hands in their pockets would be interminably cursed with perpetual and insatiable hunger. He would supposedly disguise himself by dressing up as a tramp, roaming the streets and countryside seeking charity. 

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Another concept I have heard of is Féar Gortach which means Hungry Grass(which is such an Irish concept, it's hilarious to me!) Ok so here Féar means grass and Gortach means hungry. This is a patch of grass which causes those who walked on it to suffer from eternal unending hunger. According to some this grass was planted by fairies, and still others say that Hungry Grass grows wherever someone died a violent death or from hunger. Some others say that Hungry Grass grows on the grave of a Fear Gorta who cursed the grass above his final resting place. Sound lad eh? 

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Apparently Irish peasents used to sprinkle the grass with leftover crumbs to protect themselves from the Hungry Grass as it showed generosity, a means of appeasement. This kind of practice may still go on even today, I read one Irish blog in which the author spoke about leaving bread and water out as offerings when visiting famine villages.

Some of the older generation might even say 'The Fear Gortach is on me' as a way of saying they are very hungry although I've never heard that one said myself.

Pretty cool stuff, eh?

Here are links to all of the previous posts I have written:

Hope you enjoyed this post, let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading.


Laura Morrigan said...

Hmmm I am often hungry, maybe I have accidentally walked on some of that grass! Thanks for sharing these, they are very interesting!

The Phantom Cat said...

Hahah I know the feeling :)You are welcome, thank you for reading and commenting!