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The mother of the ancient gods of Ireland and patroness of the Tuatha, the wizards. She may have had connections with rivers: her Hindu equivalent would be Danu, ‘the waters of heaven’, an early goddess. The same root is evident in European rivers: Don, Dnieper, Dniester, Donwy. The Tuatha De Danann, ‘the peoples of goddess Danann’, dominated Ireland before the coming of the Sons of Mil, the ancestors of the present inhabitants. After their defeat by the Sons of Mil, they were awarded the underground—‘the hills and fairy regions, so that fairies under ground were subject to them’. The ‘little people’ of the popular fairy lore of Christian Ireland are therefore reductions of earlier pagan divinities.

Subjects: Religion.

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