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Abstract only
Cara Delay

’, allowed women to speak and even shout.56 As they keened the dead, Irish women ‘incorporated extemporaneously composed, sung, oral elegiac poetry, interspersed with choruses of loud, wailing cries’.57 In Irish tradition, keening also was bound to the image of powerfully supernatural women: the goddess Brigid and the Banshee or otherworldly death messenger.58 In 1907, John Millington Synge, while visiting the remote Aran Islands, observed the keen as follows: After Mass this morning an old woman was buried. … While the grave was being opened the women sat among the flat

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
Abstract only
Cara Delay

early twentieth-century middle-class Christian America, devotional items were 142 irish women featured in four particular rooms: the living room, dining room, bedroom, and entryway.19 In rural Ireland, however, particularly where there were more modest dwellings, holy artefacts appeared most commonly in the kitchen or bedrooms. Bridget Dirrane, who grew up on the Aran Islands in the 1900s and 1910s, recalled that her parents ‘had a big statue of Our Lady on a stand in the corner of their bedroom’, and ‘[t]he main statue was surrounded by some smaller ones.’20 When

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950