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> The Role Of The Guest In Celtic Society, Seeking Reference/Source Materials
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Sėmeag 
  Posted: 30-Jul-2009, 12:30 PM
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I've drafted a blog in relation to the behaviour of guests, but I want to do some research into the ancient/historical expectations placed upon guests.

I am searching for references, either in source texts in literature, myths[?], or historical accounts of the expectations of a guest. I've searched Fergus Kelly's "A Guide to Early Irish Law" and there is only reference to the host's duties. His bibliography gave no further guidance in relation to guests. I have been given vague references of a story being required from guests (in a time when news travelled slowly) but, again, no reference was give to source materials.

So, anyone think of anything that may help?


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Choriambic1950 
Posted: 01-Sep-2009, 03:39 PM
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This is contemporary, but maybe it will help.
I heard this described both in Chicago when some members of an Irish musical family were interviewed, and it was shared with me by someone (also involved with music) who lives in the Irish community in a suburb of DC.
When people come to the door, they need to give a song to enter.

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englishmix 
Posted: 01-Sep-2009, 04:45 PM
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Some customs are good, but I have little time for pagan ones or foolish superstitutions. For instance, when food is scarce, I don't recomment the Irish custom of eating your neighbor. unsure.gif

Check out this site:
http://ehr.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/...ll/120/489/1358
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Patch 
Posted: 04-Sep-2009, 06:54 PM
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QUOTE (englishmix @ 01-Sep-2009, 05:45 PM)
Some customs are good, but I have little time for pagan ones or foolish superstitutions. For instance, when food is scarce, I don't recomment the Irish custom of eating your neighbor. unsure.gif

Check out this site:
http://ehr.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/...ll/120/489/1358

That is a rough custom, but based on tales of the potato famine, who knows.

I was unable to read the article without a subscription. Since I subscribe to too many things now I was hesitant though I may still do so.

Slāinte,    

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mcnberry 
Posted: 05-Sep-2009, 03:12 AM
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Hello Sėmeag!

Found this at http://homepage.eircom.net/~kthomas/gaelic/gaelic1.htm

"HOSPITALITY - A very important aspect of Celtic life. Both the hosts and the
guests were expected to observe certain social customs. The host had to provide
food, drink, a warm bed if possible, and entertainment. They had to give the
very best they had for not to do so was a gross insult. Once the guests had
partaken of the hearth's hospitality, the hosts were obliged to refrain from
any violence or quarreling with them, for the guests were under the protection
of the dun from then on. The guests would be expected to make an offering to
the hearth of cakes, bread, wine etc. according to their ability. They must
show respect to the hosts and not cause quarrels, fights or disruptions during
their stay. They would normally be expected to sing a song, play a tune, or
tell a tale."

The above is quoted from the "Brehon Law". Here is the Wikipedia link to the origins of the Brehon Law or Fenechas:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Irish_law

Some information about "seating arrangements" at the feasts of Tara, Tailltenn, and Ushnagh, and a description of the Banquet Hall at Tara:

http://www.libraryireland.com/SocialHistor.../III-XVII-1.php

I found a book "Hospitality in Medieval Ireland, 900-1500", by Catherine O'Sullivan that might help with finding more information.

From the Publisher:

"This book reconstructs, from a range of documentary sources, the practice of hospitality, in its widest sense, and addresses the motivating forces that lay behind its provision, reception and reciprocation."

Hope this helps a little. Good luck with your blog!

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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 10-Sep-2009, 09:14 PM
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In the book I'm currently reading "Galway Bay" by Mary Pat Kelly every time sommeone enters a house they usuallly say "God bless all who dwell here."


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englishmix 
Posted: 11-Sep-2009, 11:34 AM
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For English hospitality one has the Glencoe massacre. unsure.gif
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