Black Rock Desert, NV
x 13 x 25
Steel, recycled 55-gal steel drums, & other found objects
Burning Man Art Installation Grant.
complete, she will stand approximately 25 feet tall, and an entrance
at the front of her hips (or yoni) will invite the observer to interact
with her. Like a nautical jungle-gym, one can access her interior and
climb into and on top of her. Like Draka the Dragon, her scales are
cut from colorful 55-gallon steel drums. Scrap metal, perforated steel,
and other found objects also add depth and mystery to her overall design,
with blue and green lights glowing from within.
Dahud-Ahes ~ Herstory: A Breton princess, also called Dahut and Ahes
(Ahés or Ahé), Dahut was the daughter of Gradlon and the
sorceress Malgven. Gradlon built the beautiful city of Ys for his daughter,
because Dahut loved the sea. But it was the sea that would bring her
and her beloved city into ruin. The earliest version only say that Dahut
and her lover were drunk, when she stole her father's key, opened the
dike that flooded Ys. A more elaborate second version has heavy Christian
Dahut was a follower of the pagan religion. Because her mother was Malgven,
Dahut was a sorceress and druidess. Dahut was thought wicked, because
she led her people to nightly drunken revelry and debauchery. Dahut
ignored the warning from Guénolé that her excesses would
bring the destruction of Ys. While Gradlon slept, Dahut stole the key
to the dikes, which hanged from the chain of her father's neck. When
she opened the floodgate, the sea covered the low-lying city with water.
Most of the people of Ys drowned.
Gradlon and Guénolé were among the survivors. Gradlon
would have saved her daughter, but Morvarc'h had trouble carrying them
to safety. Guénolé knew who was responsible for the city's
destruction, and so urged the king to throw Dahut into the water. Gradlon
was left with no other choice, so he flung his daughter into the water.
The water immediately receded, but the entire city was submerged, and
it became part of the Bay of Dourarnenez. The legend says that Dahut
did not die, rather that she was transformed into a mermaid. Dahut was
likened to the Sirens who lure sailors to crash their ships into rocky
Some scholars link Dahut with Morgan le Fay, though others are skeptical
about this association. In Medieval times Christians altered Celtic
story to make Druidess heroines into evil witches. In this manner, the
Christians effectively began to sway the opinion of both clergy and
the people that knowledgeable women and the Druid order itself were
wicked. Such stories as that of Dahud-Ahes, daughter of the sixth
century king Kernev, whom Ellis says was "undoubtedly a Druidess
adhering to the old religion, [and] who [was] then transformed into
a sorceress by Christian scribes."
She was strongly opposed to Christianity, and therefore her city of
Ker-Ys was destroyed by a flood and she was turned into a mermaid "as
she sinks beneath the waves, proving that [St. Guénolé's]
magic is just as good as any Druid['s]." (Ellis,
The Druids, p.104)
Professor Markle states: Apart from representing paganism in opposition
to Christianity, however, she [Dahud-Ahes] also symbolizes the rebellion
against masculine authority... The full significance of this act becomes
clear when one considers her dissolute life as contrary to the teachings
of the Christian Church, here represented by St Gwénnolé,
himself the very symbol of masculine authority. However, it is interesting
to note that in Ker-Ys today, the myth place of Duhad-Ahes, she is considered
a "good witch." (Ellis, The Druids,
Excerpts from: The
Remember now the tale of Liban
who lost her family to the flood,
who lived below the waters in a sea cave,
by the shores of Lough Neagh:
For a year and a day the poor girl
lived in this cave, wearied and afraid;
her dog at her side, she prayed to Tethra,
the sea god of elder time, a salmon to make her:
The famed lord of the waves, lifted her
from the deep cave, human and fish,
a Sea Maiden at last, her bright life
borne in honor under the goddess Muirgen!
And, do not forget, Dahud, of Ker-Ys,
who lives below the waves,
daughter of King Gradlon;
who shall return with her mere-maiden gifts!
It is said her true name is, Dahud-Ahes,
the "good witch", she who took the keys
of the floodgates from her lord,
and broke the seal that magick'd the fate of Ys.
Down below the deep blue sea she lives,
the mere-maiden of Ker-Ys,
her green eyes alive with light,
her kiss the gift of Muirgen's sight!
And, some say, that on the day
the bright white towers of Ys arise,
out of the watery abyss,
we shall all be changed in a twinkling eye
to Elven kin, our true life as Sidhe, keening!
O sing to me now, of mermaids and selbies,
of the pure heart of love by the bright waters of the grey sea!
- Earthwizard, aka, Steven Craig Hickman
©Friday, January 02, 2004