“The “good” and the “bad” people – supernatural powers ever present to bless or to harm, were very real to the Irish peasant.

In Connemara it was believed that the “bad” people run away with little boys but not with girls, so boys were dressed in petticoats to deceive them until they were of age to protect themselves.”

Petticoats, may protect him from wicked fairies, but they cannot conceal the masculine character of this stern-faced Connemara boy escorting his sister home from school. The faces of both these children are, indeed, stamped with an unusual maturity, due, perhaps, to the hard struggle with poverty which the Connemara peasant had to wage from earliest infancy.

Image | A. W. Cutler c. early 1900’s

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