Catalog number: SBR367
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FIANNA, Celtic Deer, silver bracelet. Weight approx. 39g.
Many stories of the Celts are conencted with deer. In some Scottish and Irish tales deer are seen as "fairy cattle" and are herded and milked by a tutelary, benevolent, otherworldly
woman (such as a bean sìdhe or in other cases the goddess Flidais), who can shapeshift into the form of a red or white deer.
In the West Highlands, this woman of the otherworld selects the individual deer who will be slain in the next day's hunt.
In Ireland, The Cailleach Bhéara ("The Old Woman of Beare"), who lives on an island off the coast of County Cork, takes the form of a deer to avoid capture,
and herds her deer down by the shore. The Beare peninsula is also associated with the islands in the western sea that are the lands of the dead.
Other Celtic mythological figures such as Oisin and Sadbh also have connections to deer.
Cernunnos is a mythological figure in Continental Celtic mythology, and possibly one of the figures depicted on the Gundestrup cauldron. He has deer or stag antlers on the top of his head. His role in the religion and mythology is unclear, as there are no particular stories about him.