Banshee - Coming up with a Name

I was brought up in Belfast but my holidays were all spent in Donegal in the west of Ireland where my father's people were from. My grandfather was a lighthouse keeper and he and his brothers would tell us stories of the "little people" and the fairy world. It really was like another world. My mother told me of hearing the Banshee when she was little. Folklore was very much alive in my upbringing.

When I started my jewellery design business I wanted to come up with a name that reflected my background and my inspiration but at the same time was recognisable by the public. While the Banshee has a pretty terrible reputation in Ireland, her name in Gaeilge is "Bean Sí", meaning "fairy woman".  She did also get a Disney makeover making an appearance in the film "Darby O Gill and the Little People", so she has become more widely known than just in Ireland.

Irish fairies are not the pretty ethereal beings they are in other cultures, but little people from the "otherworld" up to mischief and devilment. They were to be appeased and not to be crossed by "earthly" people. They could shapeshift themselves into many forms to challenge humans or teach them lessons or even just to steal the milk from the cows, like the Hare in one of my designs.

I'm guessing belief in fairies developed as a belief system to make sense of life's misfortunes like illness, failing crops, bad weather or even just milk souring. But that theory is a little boring and academic. I prefer to think of life being full of many frequencies that we can tap into if we choose!





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