The Irish language has thirty-two words for field. Among them are:
Geamhar – a field of corn-grass
Tuar – a field for cattle at night
Réidhleán – a field for games or dancing
Cathairín – a field with a fairy-dwelling in it
The richness of a language closely tied to the natural landscape offered our ancestors a more magical way of seeing the world. Before we cast old words aside, let us consider the sublime beauty and profound oddness of the ancient tongue that has been spoken on this island for almost 3,000 years.
In Thirty-Two Words for Field, Manchán Magan meditates on these words – and the nuances of a way of life that is disappearing with them.
’A rip-roaring, archaeological and anthropological exploration of the lyricism, mystery and oddities of the Irish language, and the layers of ancient knowledge encoded within.’ The Irish Times
Manchán Magan is a writer and documentary-maker. He has written numerous books on his travels and two novels. He writes occasionally for The Irish Times, reports on travel for various radio programmes, and has presented dozens of documentaries on issues of world culture. He lives in an oak wood, with bees, hens and veg, in a grass-roofed house near Lough Lene, Co. Westmeath.