Bendith y Mamau
Welsh: "The Blessing of the Mothers"
A Welsh term for a type of fairy, possibly synonymous with the Tylwyth Teg. Their name, otherwise obscure, may be a relic of the worship of the Matronae, the triple-mothers, much as Modron is derived from Matrona, the singluar form and goddess of the Marne.
According to Rhys's Celtic Folklore, the name "Bendith y Mamau" was commonly used in Glamorganshire, and says they were closely associated with a place called Pant y Dawns (Dance Hollow), near Llanfabon.1. Evans-Wentz also calls attention to the same type of myths in Carmarthenshire, close by.
Supposedly the Cwn Annwn (hellhounds) were also alternately called Cwn Bendith y Mamau.
Evans-Wentz, Walter Yeeling. The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries. Oxford University Press, 1911. p. 153
Rhys, John. Celtic Folklore: Welsh And Manx. Oxford University Press, 1901. p. 257
1. Llanfabon: "Church of [St.] Mabon"; coincidentally (?) Mabon is the son of Modron, previously mentioned. In a story he relates, the Bendith y Mamau would steal children from their cradles; the presence of changeling myths and the stealing of children in an area associated with a St. Mabon, and set in Glamorgan (and thus about twenty miles west of where Pryderi was found by Teyrnon), is highly suggestive of the Mabinogi, but only suggestive.
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Mary Jones © 2004