BROIGHTER BOATS

These paintings are based on  the pure-gold Celtic Broighter Boat, now in the National Museum in Dublin.

The 8” long golden boat was part of a hoard of gold artifacts from the Iron Age, of the 1st century BC, found near the town land of Broighter in County Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1896.

See Artist Statement below images.

It is believed that this hoard of treasures had originally been placed in a sacred place, probably a lake, in order to gain favour with the Celtic sea god Manannán mac Lir.

All this matters to me because I am a Celt with deep, dancing ties to Ireland.

The Broighter Boat is a precise model of an ocean-going vessel, probably wooden or hide.  The golden boat has benches, rowlocks, two rows of nine oars and a paddle rudder for steering. It also included tools for grappling, three forks, a yardarm and a spear.

 

“Celt”, by the way, means Salt.  (Sel in French)  In ancient times Celts controlled salt mines and salt trading routes.

Boats are female.  This series is named after Irish women we know in Ireland.  This particular painting is named BRIGID. The main female deity of the Celts, Brigid made the land fruitful and animals multiply. She blessed poets and blacksmiths. She is equal in esteem to, and shares a grave with, St. Patrick and St. Columcille.