Alternately, Annwn (AH-noon)
The name has a dual connotation:
an- (intensifying prefix) + dwfn: deep = "The Very-Deep Place"
an- (negating prefix) + dwfn: world = "The Not-World"
A variation on the name Annwn, the Otherworld. This form occurs in "Pwyll pendeuc Dyfed", while "Annwn" appears in the (arguably later) Welsh Triads and poetry of Taliesin. Ruled in some texts by Arawn, in others by Gwyn ap Nudd.
Annwfn is generally associated with hills and islands--high points, which, possibly, were originally the burial mounds of the Pre-Celtic and Celtic tribes. In "Pwyll" it appears as a parallel world, very much like our world and just as dangerous, but whose people are obviously magical beings. In the poem "Prieddu Annwn", we are told that it is a series of islands to which King Arthur and his men journey in search of a magic cauldron; the details of the poem are reminiscent of The Mabinogion's story of "Branwen ferch Lyr", wherein Ireland is the home of the cauldron instead of the Annwn islands.
Lloyd Alexander anglicizes Annwfn it as Annuvin in his children's series The Prydain Chronicles; it is home to Arawn Death-Lord.
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Mary Jones © 2009