Irish Mythology -NUADA OF THE SILVER ARM
Along my way with visitors to this land I am often drawn to sharing its myths and legends. History on its own is boring and incomplete without also capturing the culture of early life on this land. To me it allows the curious visitor to embrace more about our present culture and how it is shaped by our past!
Lost without the opportunity to visit, chat and explore more about our land at present I have written down the legend of Nuada which today holds links to the ancient City of Armagh. When the time is right take a visit to the hilltop Anglican Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh City and there you will find the strange stone figure of "Nuada".
According to legend, Nuada was King of the Tuatha Dé Dannan before they came to Ireland.
A skilled hunter and fighter, Nuada led his people into Ireland from the north. He set up the court at Tara and ruled the Tuatha Dé Dannan fairly.
He made his home in Brú na Bóinne until he was tricked into giving up both his home and his wife to the Dagda, Chief of the Tuatha Dé Dannan. Even though the Tuatha Dé Dannan had arrived on the Emerald isle, they did not yet control Ireland.
At that time, the once-mighty Fir Bolg and the monstrous Fomorians ruled over most of the Island but the cunning Nuada had a plan to conquer them both.
In Irish legend, Nuada was the first king of the Tuatha Dé Dannan. He brought his people to Ireland and fought the native Fir Bolg for control of the island. Nuada went to the king of the Fir Bolg and asked for half of the island. The Fir Bolg refused his demand so the two groups went to war.
In this fight Nuada lost a hand. Being physically imperfect he was no longer elgible for kingship so he abdicated in favour of the half-Formorian Bres.
Unfortunately Bres allow the Formorians to take control of Ireland.
The Tuatha Dé Dannan crafted a silver hand for Nuada so he could reclaim his place as king.
Nuada held the throne for another twenty years until Bres returned with a Fomorian army to take power by force. This time the powerful warrior Lugh led the Tuatha Dé Dannan to victory in a battle that secured their power and took the throne after which Nuada was killed.
The Tuatha Dé Dannan are often interpreted as a representation of the first Celtic invaders of Ireland. The Fir Bolg were earlier inhabitants, while the Fomorians were subsequent invaders who sought to claim the Island as well.
Nuada may be partially rooted in Irish history, but he also possibly originated from Germanic religion before it was brought to Ireland. Similar figures in Britain, Wales and Scandinavia show Nuada's arrival from outside of Ireland is both factual and legendary.
Would love to hear your story on Nuada from your part of the world.
Barbara.........your local Tourist Guide
Always travel with a local