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The Celtic hounds
well respected by royalty and warriors. They were given as gifts to men of honour and many warriors and chiefs took the name as a title to show their loyalty and courage. Many argue Celtic hounds to be either the Greyhound
, Scottish Deerhound
, Irish Wolfhound
or even a mix of all these breeds.
Celtic Hounds can be found in celtic jewelry
designs and paintings as far back as the 17th century. Celtic Hounds symbolize hunting, healing, and the Otherworld in Celtic legends. Hounds were the traditional guardian animals of roads and crossways and are believed to protect and guide lost souls in the Otherworld.
Many Irish myths and legends include mentions of hounds. The most famous involves the Celtic hero Cuchulainn
(The Hound of Ulster) or (The Hound of Culann) who killed a blacksmith's Celtic hound with his bare hands. When Culann, the blacksmith asked who would now guard his shop the young Cuchulainn offered to take the dog's place thus gaining himself the title of 'The hound of Culann'. The offer was turned down and Cuchulainn went on to become one of the greatest warrior legends of that era, but the nickname stuck. Other famous Irish hounds were Bran and Seolan who belonged to the warrior, Fionn mac Cumhaill
. The mother of Bran and Sceolan was Tuiren, and was Fionn Mac Cumhaill's aunt, transformed into a hound by a fairy or Sidhe
You can hear an audio podcast of one version of Bran's first adventures with... Read More