Thirty-Two Words for Field by Manchán Magan


This is a very complex book. It covers so much, it reflects that wonderful mix of language, custom, heritage, beliefs and tradition which we call culture.

Everyone who reads this book will learn so much. I am pleased to know the difference between “damhsa” and “rince” . I love the linguistic broadness which can help me see the links to Arabaic and Indian language and culture.  The chapters on placenames, curses, seaweed and Witches Hill (Loughcrew) are full of easily accessable information.

Even meeting, at one remove, the people like Cáit Ní Chatháin, the Brahmin priest and Mick Tobin is a privelege.

My disappointment is with the lack of sources. Magan cites studies on the effect of sound on primitive seeds, but leaves me hanging as I can not look up the report. He falls into the same generalist trap with the DNA evidence for a lost ancestor and laboratory testing which shows how low sound waves affect the brain .

This book is well worth reading and re reading. That I am uncomfortable when the author strays into vegetarianism, buddhism and new age beliefs is minor flaw.

Do pick up this book, it is an excellent read.

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