Sunday, 24 January 2010

Wheres My Crochet Gone?

Alberich puts on the Tarnhelm (hat of invisibility) ,and dissappears.
Illustration by Arthur Rackham.

The Shadow of an Invisible Blanket

More pictures on flickr
More invisible research shows that most ancient culltures had a legendary garment or headwear that renders the user invisible. Greek mythology tells of a cap used by Hades, and a version of a tale where Persius is given a similar cap by Athene.
What are the origins of mysterious sartorial invisibility? Where did this legend begin? I will investigate austrolasian, asian and african stories, older cultures may hold a clue.
The Welsh Mabinogion tells of Caswallanwn. He donned a cloak of invisibility and murdered Caradog ap Bran, one of the seven chieftans left to look after `Blighty` whilst the king was off in Ireland. I have been reading the Lady Charlotte Guest translation, but was ammused by William Owen Pughe (1795), who reffers to the Mabinogion as ` juvenille ammusements, being Welsh romances.`
The development of a modern equivalent is as thrilling as it is a little worrying. (We don`t all abide by `Star Fleet regulations)`. It adds a prophetic touch to the tales of old though.
R.I.P. Jean Simmonds. (Sarah Browne in Guys and Dolls).

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