Drawing the Mari Ystrad at Gellionen Chapel yesterday was a much more peaceful experience than drawing the Mari Trecopwr around the pubs of North Gower a couple of weeks ago and I had the chance to take my time, observe and record at leisure. I finally drew the full figure – the Mari’s skull atop a two legged creature in a decorated white shroud, baggy white trousers and white socks. The huge horse’s skull dwarfs the homo sapien below.
The white – or grey – colouring of the Mari Lwyd dates to pre-Christian times and is the colour of animals that could cross the divide between this world and the underworld. White is also associated with Rhiannon, a Welsh horse goddess and queen of the underworld. At this darkest time of the year, tradition has it that the veil between this and other worlds is at its thinnest and some beings could pass through.
Husb noticed that the spiral pattern on part of the shroud is the same as carvings on ancient stone monuments and temples across Malta. Coincidence? hhhmmmmm
I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder. If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.