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Exploring the traditions and folklore surrounding the practice of Witchcraft

Vincent and Goram – The Bristol Giants

Bristol, a city in the south west of England, is my home. It’s also a bit of an abnormality when it comes to folklore. Although it shares many traditions with its neighbouring counties of Gloucestershire and Somerset, Bristol-specific folklore is hard to come by. One of the reasons could likely be the contested nature of Bristol. Today it stands alone without a county, but in the past it was part of Somerset, […]

Witch Trials: The rare Case of Ireland

Very few countries were immune to the Witch Trials that swept through Europe in the early modern period. Ireland, however, proved to be a rare exception. The combination of prevailing pagan beliefs and Christianity created a completely different spiritual and cultural identity to that of its neighbouring countries, leading to a society more tolerant and accepting of the supernatural. For example, the prevailing belief in the Sidhe (fairies) who were known for […]

Witch Trials and The channel islands: annoyingly hard to research

tw: mention of torture, bodily harm. Eight islands lie between the English and French coasts, the largest being Jersey and Guernsey. Although the populations of these two islands are rather small they suffered more from the witch trials than any other country within the British Isles. Their proximity to mainland Europe, continued practice of Catholicism and sheltering of Calvinist Protestants have all been suggested as possible reasons for such a high percentage […]

Ethnobotany: An Introduction

Ethnobotany is an interdisciplinary study of a region’s plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a culture of peoples. In short, the relationship between plants and communities (Okogun 2002). Traditionally the subject focused on cataloguing the ways people use plants but over the last few decades ethnobotany has grown to become an interdisciplinary subject, encompassing chemistry, pharmacology, biology, and anthropology. Contemporary studies focus on the traditional knowledge and use […]

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