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Framed Ogham parchment gifts at Carousel Gifts

Posted by Eugene Grehan on



Carousel Gifts, as well as sourcing products from Naas and locally in Kildare, also try to bring our customers’ some of the beautiful crafts from other parts of the country.

One such supplier is the artist Ethel Kelly, who paints ogham scripts onto parchment paper she makes herself in her studio in County Roscommon and mounts them in modern black frames.   The range is extensive and it’s easy to select an attractive and thoughtful gift for lots of occasions such as engagements, wedding, anniversaries, new home, new baby, christening and other family milestones.   Check out the range we stock, click on the link below:

https://www.carouselgifts.ie/collections/irish-craft-products

We ship all over Ireland either free or with a modest shipping charge.

Soulmate – Anam Cara is a beautiful hand-made gift to show our love for that special someone, written in ancient Irish Ogham script.   Each piece has the English translation.  Pieces can be displayed individually or in elegant, themed collections.  The piece shown is 11” x 6”. 

picture of an standing stone in County Kildare with Ogham script on the corners

What is Ogham?

Ogham, known as the 'Celtic Tree Alphabet,' is an ancient form of writing common in Ireland for hundreds of years, there are a number of different theories about its origins and the debate continues.

Traces of Ogham can still be found all across Ireland, although most are found in Munster, they are found even here in county Kildare.  The picture above show an Ogham stone found in Colbinstown, which is on the border between Kildare and Wicklow between Narraghmore and Dunlavin.

The ancient script of Ogham originally contained 20 letters grouped into four groups of five. Five more letters were later added creating a fifth group. Each of these groups was named after its first letter.  These ancient Irish Scrips are one of the few alphabets written and read vertically from bottom to top.   It is believed they were used as territory boundary markers, and usually contained the names of the owner on the edges of the standing stones, but it is also considered possible that Ogham was used to send messages, to record information and were used in magic rituals.

Ogham scripts were widely used between the fourth to the tenth century CE.  There are some 400 - 500 known surviving examples of original Ogham.

The ancient language bears a great resemblance to ciphers in Germanic runes, Latin, and the Greek alphabet.

There are a number of theories on the origin of Ogham scripts, one of which states that Ogham was invented in West Wales in the fourth century BCE "to intertwine the Latin alphabet with the Irish language in response to the intermarriage between the Romans and the Romanized Britons.

Irrespective of the origin of the script, there is no doubt that its adaption by Ethel to make these unique gifts, is a marriage between the ancient and the modern and are a delight to look upon at and a treasure to own.

Claire X