One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A medieval stone figure of a naked female with the legs wide apart and the hands emphasizing the genitals, found in churches in Britain and Ireland.
- ‘This temple relief appeared in India during the same year European builders carved Sheela-na-gig on their churches.’
- ‘Another of his books, Images of Lust, was a guide to Sheela-na-gigs in Ireland.’
- ‘An air of mystery has surrounded the crude carvings of naked females, called Sheela-na-gigs, since their scholarly discovery some one hundred and sixty years ago.’
- ‘She believes that Sheela-na-gigs are representative of the more earthy strand of Celtic spirituality and were used as a pagan representation of birth, abundance and fertility.’
- ‘It has been all too easy in the past to see carvings of Sheela-na-gigs and other female exhibitionists as evidence of a pre-Christian religion.’
From Irish Sile na gcíoch ‘Julia of the breasts’.
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