Saturday, July 30, 2005


UI's Celtic Mythology - Culhwch

Culhwch, in Welsh mythology, was the son of Cildydd, one of King Arthur's knights. His stepmother hated Cuhlwch so much that she placed a curse on him that he could marry only Olwen, the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. This fate, however, seemed less dreadful once Cuhlwch found Olwen, a task which took over a year, for they fell deeply in love. Cuhlwch's next problem was how to persuade her giant father to agree to the match. Like the Irish Cyclops Balor, Yspaddaden's eyelids needed to be levered up with supports in order for him to see Cuhlwch. Also like Balor, the Welsh giant did not favour the idea of his daughter marrying a man. At interviews held on successive days Yspaddaden threw a posioned spear at Cuhlwch and his companions, but they managed on each occasion to catch it and throw it back. When Cuhlwch finally put out one of the giant's eyes with a return throw, Yspaddaden agred to the marriage on condition that Cuhlwch perform a whole series of tasks. With the assistance of King Arthur's men and a couple of divine allies, Cuhlwch successfully completed these trials, then killed Yspaddaden and married Olwen.


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