#ReadingIrelandMonth21 Why the Moon Travels
- Author: Oein DeBhairduin
- Title: When The Moon Travels
- Published: 2020 (pg 120)
- Genre: Traveller folktales
- Travellers: Ireland’s indigenous nomadic people and an ethnic minority
- Trivia: Shortlist for the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2021
- List of Challenges 2021
- Monthly plan
- #ReadingIrelandMonth21 @cathy746books
- Why the Moon Travels contains twenty folktales
- …from the Mincéirí or Traveller community.
- It is the first known collection of Traveller folktales
- …that has been written by a Traveller.
- In these tales separation between
- …the human and natural worlds does not exist.
- This is an example of an oral culture.
- This oral culture has a deep understanding of how
- …nature can speak to us and offer healing.
What are the primary aspects of telling tales?
- put into context and space in which they are shared
- as entertainment
- are always truthful and real
- First impression: the introduction is a work of art.
- Breathtaking in its lyrical beauty…and provides a sudden
- enlightenment about the Travellers, their language, Gammon, and core values.
- The author hopes “…this book be another crack in the
- …wall that all to often divides us.”
- These are tales about the ancient world, the otherworld
- …some speak of the dead and others name the living.
The Yew Tree
- This is a story of grief that resonates so profoundly in this pandemic.
- The author uses the setting of a graveyard…a sacred place
- where a wall marks the boundary line between the living and the dead.
- Word choices establish the tone:
- brambles of ancestry
- trees beaten by age and waves of grief
- solitary and bewildered figure, his bright future in ashes
- grief that binds us into a rigid loss
- I was speechless after reading the very short tale.
- The author introduces the story and bookends it
- with his thoughts…about the Travellers rituals to celebrate the ancestors.
- Oein DeBhairduin addresses the reader directly.
- He draws the reader into the tale with a personal revelations:
- He spends time in graveyards (“The Yew Tree”)
- The simple things of his youth…the joy of his mother’s garden (“Why dandelions Grow”)
- He lived beside the Seuleen river a place of connection (“The Birth of Rivers”)
- Stargazing brings great joy to his heart (“Where the Stars Come From”)
- Debhairduin extends the world of the story
- …to provide us a the illusion
- …that the reader is included in it.
Strong Point: so many quotes that linger…so beautiful
- My mother always said there were
- three things that men NEVER understand:
- the sharp edges of a broken heart
- the mind of a woman
- the value of the dandelion.
Who is Oein DeBhairduin?