Ritual Masks and Channeling

What can the almost universal practice of ritual mask wearing tell us about the Welsh bardic tradition? As far as we know, the medieval Welsh bards didn’t use masks in performance, but they did take on archetypal personas such as that of the legendary Taliesin, and there are suggestions that some of these performances were considered a type of ancestral channeling.

Anthropologists have studied countless examples of how ancestral spirits are brought alive in public performance, and some of these accounts can help us think through what the old Welsh bards were doing in their performances.

If you’re interested in following The Native Tales of the Mabinogion or The Taliesin Tradition, you can find these courses (and several others) here.

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