The Seanchí

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Irish Storyteller
An American Seanchí preserving an Irish tradition.

A seanchaí (pronounced SHANN-a-key) is a traditional Irish storyteller. The word literally means a bearer of "old lore" (seanchas). In the ancient Celtic culture, the history and laws of the people were not written down but memorized in long lyric poems which were recited by bards and storytellers.

As I travel across the country, telling tales from ClanDonnell: A Storied History of Ireland and other tales I've learned along the way, I've realized that storytelling has a long tradition, but is somewhat of a lost art. There simply not a lot of us doing this!

I must confess that I create and organize my stories on my laptop. I've simply learned to be more creative and organized on a keyboard. The result is that many of my stories are written down. That's not exactly how the seanchaí did things, but then again, they didn't have the benefit of modern technology.

From time to time, I will post my transcribed stories on this web site. I'm doing this for no particular reason. The stories are much better when told, rather than when read. The written word cannot always reflect the proper pause, tone of voice, inflection, accent, etc., that come from the spoken word. Nevertheless, the written stories are here.

Bain sult as! (Take pleasure in, or enjoy).