History is being written today, every day, and by storytellers.

From monks and scholars to Maori oral storytelling and old Irish seanchais (pronounced shan-a-kee) – we’ve all been fortunate to have a legacy of tales.

Tailltu Queen of the Fir Bolg by Jim Fitzpatrick.
The Irish warrior queen of the Fir Bolg, early settlers to Ireland, originally from Greece. They are said to have been the people who made Ireland’s rocky soil fertile, thanks to the bags of clay (bolg) that they brought with them.
The story of the Fir Bolg has been passed down from clan to clan through the art of storytelling.

As it’s Maori Language Week, it’s a good time to stand back and acknowledge the power of tradition, such as oral storytelling. The Maori language and traditions are eerily similar to the Irish ones.

There is power in knowing your whakapapa. I might be Irish, and only living here for 5 years, but I know how to enjoy a little korero and I honour my own whakapapa.

Solas is the Irish word for light, disclose, comfort or lead. That’s what I do with clients who are terrified of the media landscape, but those who are brave enough to tell their story. Fearless warriors of business, fighting daily battles and winning.

Old Gaelic surnames were given based on the profession or trade of the head of the clan. Allen (my surname) is Allín, from the word ealaíontóir (pronounced Al-eean-tore), the Irish word for artist. Back in the day, that was an honourable profession – in the land of saints and scholars. Art was a much broader subject. It could be anything from singing to drawing or storytelling.

Aside from an ability to read tea leaves, my grandmother could spin a great yarn! She was a real seanchai, a bearer of folklore.

I didn’t lick it up off the cobblestones. There might not be seachais left in the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t leave a legacy of stories. Have you shared your story? Would you know where to start? What’s your legacy and will the next generations know about it?

Get in touch and let this seanchai tell your yarn!