Lí Ban

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Lí Ban is an "Otherworldly woman" from Irish Mythology, best known as the sister of the sea goddess Fand, and perhaps an early sea deity herself.

She appears in the Irish tale Serglige Con Culainn (The Wasting Sickness of Cú Chulainn), first as a sea bird, and then as an avenging goddess.

In Serglige Con Culainn she acts as a messenger and mediator. She and Láeg, the charioteer and companion of Cú Chulainn, work together to see that Cú Chulainn is healed in exchange for his aid in Fand's battle in the Otherworld.

In Irish Christian tradition, another Liban was a woman who was transformed into a mermaid when her country was flooded (today the Lough Neagh lake in Northern Ireland). She lived under the sea with her dog (who in the flood became an otter) for 300 years. She later emerged as a saint in the time of Saint Comgall.

Contents

Etymology

Lí Ban may be derived from Proto-Celtic *leiābánniā (nf) ‘droplet of liquid’ or else *leiābénnā (nf) ‘woman of liquid.’

Notes

References

Further reading

  • Vries, Ranke de (2007). "The Names of Li Ban". In Joseph Falaky Nagy. Myth in Celtic Literatures. CSANA Yearbook 6. Dublin: Four Courts. pp. 39–54. ISBN 978-1-84682-046-5. 

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