Jonathan Jarrett brings you all the goods with Carnivalesque.
Meanwhile, Archaezoo reports on bird-worshipping cults in Cornwall, drawing from Current Achaeology.
..the pits might be connected with the Cornish St Bridget or St Bride, the patron saint of brides, who has the swan as her symbol. “My own theory (and it is only a theory),” she says, “is that maybe if you got married and did not get pregnant in the first year, you might make an offering to St Bride of a feather pit. If you finally got pregnant, you had to go back to the pit and take out the contents and burn them and set the spirit of the swan free. If you never got pregnant then the pit remained untouched.”
If so, this was risky business. Recent carbon dating test show that the contents of one of the pits dates from the 1640s, right in the middle of the period when, as anyone who has ever read Christopher Hill’s book, The World Turned Upside Down, will know, zealous puritans were seeking to eradicate superstitious and folkloric practices. The penalty for so-called ‘witchcraft’ was death.
Furthermore, a gentleman rejoicing in the name ‘Pope Bonkface VII’ has a (fairly) new blog dealing with medieval Disability Studies.
Finally, Magistra has been considering the nature of masculinity. Dense post, but I intend to have a comb through it again soon.