Arweinlyfr cryno a diddorol i arferion a thraddodiadau Cymru wledig yn bennaf yn ystod y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg gan gyn-guradur Amgueddfa Werin Cymru, Sain Ffagan, ynghyd ag adroddiadau byw gan lygad-dystion. 22 o ddarluniau du-a-gwyn. Cyhoeddwyd gyntaf yn 1991.
A concise and informative guide to the customs and traditions of a predominantly rural Wales during the nineteenth century by a former curator at the Welsh Folk Museum, complemented by vivid eye-witness accounts. 22 black-and-white photographs. First published in 1991.
This admirably concise guide to traditional Welsh folk customs is one of the pocket guides published jointly by the Western Mail and the University of Wales Press. The author was Curator of the Welsh Folk Museum, now the Museum of Welsh Life, at St Fagans outside Cardiff, and is a recognised authority on Welsh folk customs. It is refreshing to be reminded, in these days of an increasingly commercialised heritage industry, of the serious purposes to which that institution was dedicated under its founder, Iorwerth Peate.
Following Robert Redfields distinction between Great and Little Traditions, Owen offers a distillation of a life-times study of the latter in respect of Welsh life. He arranges his material into four groups: working the land, hearth and home, community life, and religious observance. Excellent photographic illustrations are incorporated into the text, together with inset boxes providing interesting primary source documentation on topics ranging from life in the hafod in the eighteenth century to boxing on the mountain above the Rhondda in the twentieth.
A fifth chapter on changing traditions reminds us that heritage is a process, not an artefact, with patterns of social and economic change constantly transforming old customs into new. The Methodist Revival transformed folk melodies into hymn tunes and the noson lawen into a prayer meeting. Those clichés of Welsh identity, rugby football and choral-singing, are of recent origin.
Trefor Owens pocket guide liberates us from clichés, and in a final chapter on the study of folk customs, he outlines the history of his subject. It would be good to think that, somewhere within either the Museum of Welsh Life or the University of Wales, preferably both, the academic study of both Great and Little Traditions might be allowed a future. Meanwhile, this excellent pocket guide, with its useful bibliography and index, will enable the general public to access an important part of their heritage.
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddior adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Trefor M. Owen is former Curator at the Museum of Welsh Life, and a recognized authority on Welsh folk traditions.
This concise and informative guide looks back to the customs and traditions of a predominantly rural Wales during the nineteenth century – the revelries of the corn harvest; winter nights by the fireside, knitting, telling stories and making rush candles; overcoming poverty and hardship by raising funds at a cwrw bach…
Each chapter is complemented by several eye-witness accounts – vivid descriptions of a forgotten way of life. Customs are arranged into four main groups: those centred on the hearth and home, agriculture, community life and the parish church.
In this book Trefor M. Owen explores their origins and examines the changes they underwent during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in response to industrialization and the growth of Nonconformity.
He also looks briefly at the development of folklore studies and the recorders of folk culture.
“This guide is certainly pocket-sized, but the depth and breadth of its contents are quite remarkable, and equal to what is often found in a much bulkier tome.”
Lore and Language
“. . . Trefor M. Owen has admirably succeeded in introducing his reader to a wealth of information on the social history, customs and traditions of Wales.”