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St. David's Society of Minnesota

United to Celebrate and Explore Welsh Culture

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News from our Members

Our member Karen Jones Wojahn has created a CD of her harp music, including 35 tunes, 11 of which are Welsh tunes.

All money raised from the sale of the CDs will be given to the Southwest MN ELCA Synod's "Gifts of Grace" Fund.  For more information, check out:    https://swmnelca.org/gifts-of-grace/

 

CDs are $10 each, plus $5 shipping. A digital download via Google Drive of the same music is also available for $10 per download. For more information or to order, contact Karen at: karen.wojahn@gmail.com or 48070 380th Street, Windom, MN  56101.

Checks payable to Karen Wojahn, please.

 

Video of a schoolhouse in Wymore, Nebraska for Welsh-American students

One-room Welsh School

 

The Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project is offering books on Welsh American history for research and geneaology.  You pay only for shipping.

  • Early History of the Welsh in the Proscairon District of Wisconsin
  • History of the Welsh in Minnesota
  • Hanes Cyrmy America (1872) A History of the Welsh in America

All are translated by Martha Davies or Phillip and Martha Davies. If interested, contact gcolgrove@neb.rr.com

Croeso! Welcome!StDavidsLogo-w200h220.png

The St. David's Society of Minnesota was formed to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Welsh immigrants to Minnesota. To these ends, St. David's Society members celebrate and cultivate all things Welsh - in literature, history, music, dance, art or ideas, traditional and contemporary.

Visit our What's On? page to learn more about how to participate.


Upcoming Events

  • Well-Read Dragons Book Group: Next book to discuss:  The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn over Zoom on Saturday, April 3 from 11:45am - 1:00pm. Go to What's On page for more details about the book and a list of the other books to be discussed this coming year.
  • Sgwrs Cymraeg, Welsh Conversation: Any learners or would-be learners welcome to any or all of these classes. ALL held via Zoom at 11 am on Saturdays. Contact conversation facilitator: Laurel Bradshaw, llawryf@yahoo.com for Zoom link.
  • Annual Meeting & Picnic: We usually meet at a park in July for socializing, treats, and a short program, including voting on the Board of Directors for the coming year.  This year, the board is planning two events, one a time for socializing at a park, and a Zoom event to gather ideas for the coming year and for reports on the previous year and voting on the roster of directors.  Stay tuned for more information.
  • North American Festival of Wales went virtual in 2020, and you can still watch the many presentations and performances on their website.  For a variety of concerts, lectures sponsored by the Welsh Government, and a peak at what's in store for the festival in Ottawa in 2021, visit: http://festivalofwales.org/index.html
  • Please consider joining the board.  (For now we are holding meetings over Zoom.)  If you would like to be our treasurer (Sally will be leaving that position at the end of our fiscal year) or become a board member, please contact Janice at janicegwb@yahoo.com

Visit the What's On? page for more details of all these events.

Links to Enjoy

Today's Harlech: Our member Ryan Evans has produced a recording of Welsh-Minnesotans singing the folk song Tros Y Garreg (Over the Stone) set to his original electronic music accompaniment. He has also created a website with this music and stories and poems written by and read by our members about their Welsh heritage. (Click on the title above to get to the website.)

Our recent Welsh speaker, Scott Lloyd, presented a fascinating array of information about the history of Wales. He has generously shared these links:

Ancient Sites

Rock Art from Bryn Celli Du burial chamber on Anglesey
Pentre Ifan burial chamber
Bluestones at Stonehenge from Craig Rhosyfelin
Submerged forest 2-3000 BC inspired the legends of the Cantref Gwaelod. Sarn Padrig

Vortigern: Dinas Emrys: Red Dragon origin story
Eliseg’s pillar has the name of Vortigern carved upon it

King Arthur

Maen Huail referred to in the fifteenth century in Ruthin in Northeast Wales, the tale attached to is has its origins back in the twelfth century and is referred to in three different sources
Snowdon
Llyn Llydaw Excalibur and Bwlch y Saethau story with Carnedd Arthur.
Dinas Bran and the Grail

Mabinogion

Math son of Mathonwy: Caer Arianrhod  is the court of Aranrhod and can only be reached by boat and is near Dinas Dinlleu.
Dinas Dinlle
Caer Dathyl could be Tre’r ceiri
Tomen y Mur (Mound in the walls) Math again. Mur Castell associated with Gwydion. ROMAN
Mabinogi tale of Branwen, Bronwen marries Matholwch the king of Ireland but is ill treated so hr brother the giant Bran goes over the Ireland by crossing two rivers (Sunken land memory)? A battel ensues in which Bran is mortally wounded and tells the seven survivors to cut of his head and take it back to Britain. This they do and spend seven years in Harlech (the Edwardian castle is more recent)
Gwales: Bran demanded his head be struck off seven years feasting in Harlech with the birds of Rhiannon singing to you. Then off to Gwlaes in Penfro, which is Grassholm for fourscore years where there is a palace overlooking the sea and a great hall and then onto London and bury the head if his head is ever removed London will fall. Ravens Bran and tower of London.
The Smalls Viking find of brass sword guard dating from 1100 found in 1991..
Inscribed stone of Maen Achwyfan tenth century with norse influence.
Welsh princes, Dolwyddelan and Llys at Rhosyr court of Welsh prince and lost in a sandstorm noted by Henry Rowlands in early 18th century and excavated in 1992.
stone for Llywelyn near Builth Wells.

Saints

St Davids
Llanrhychwyn
 12th century church oldest in Wales. We know from the life of Gruffudd ap Cynan that they were painted white.
Holy well of St Cybi and the grander St Winifreds first referred to in the early 12th century. Winifred was a at home one day when a prince tries to take advantage of her. When she refused he chopped of hewr head and where it hit the ground a well sprung up. Her uncle Beuno arrived and by a miracle reattached her head to her body and she sent on to spend the rest of her life in a  church in Gwytherin. Still depicted with a white line across her neck.
Owain Glyndwr Sycharth. Excavations of a small part of the motte top in 1962-3 only uncovered evidence for two timber framed buildings, part of what the 1390 poem by Iolo Goch describes as 'a fine wooden house atop a green hill'. 

Battles 
Carregwasted French forces landed near Fishguard but were quickly dealt with . Last invasion of foreign forces on mainland Britain.

Other links on history

Beddgelert
Pontcysyllte important feat of engineering and World Heritage site
Transporter bridge as an important survival of an unusual structure only 10 survive in the world and only 6 of them are operational. Opened in 1906 and still operational a fascinating and unusual experience for the price of a cup of coffee. One in Middlesbrough in use and disused one in Warrington which is on the at risk register. An unusual experience for the price of a cup of coffee.
Slate industry important industry in Wales. People travelled from Europe to marvel at this and also to spy on techniques. and the next potential world heritage site. Copper at Parys Mountain and importance of Swansea

Other Websites of Interest

Historic Wales  Click on search, tick the box, zoom in to area you want, click on layer icon top right  and select the information( you can turn them all on if you like!) Historic Mapping layer provides mapping from c.1890). This site acts as an index to Coflein (RCAHMW), Archwilio (the four Welsh archaeological trusts) and Cadw data. Click on the dot you want and then follow the link to the information. On the left of the map are four boxes. One lets you draw a box around an area and select all of the sites in it, the ruler allows you measure distances and the third box enables you to swipe between modern and historic mapping.

National Library of Wales resources Plenty to explore here!

Tithe maps c.1840

Welsh journals

Welsh newspapers

Welsh Biography online

Welsh manuscripts

Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (The Welsh equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary)

Twentieth century architecture in Wales (Just founded in 2020)

 

Our members have contributed these links to videos and photos:
Triple Harp Concert in Wales (in lieu of the in-person Eisteddfod Genedlaethol [National Eisteddfod])
Poem, Solace, by Welsh poet Dafydd Davies-Hughes with video
We'll Meet Again for VE Day with Katherine Jenkins
Sir Bryn Terfel and BBC Now -- Welsh Heroes Day
Welsh National Opera Chorus singing the Welsh hymn Gwahoddiad
Karen Wojahn playing Rhosymedre on the harp

Short Stories of Welsh Culture Saturday Selections

From April - June 2020, members met every week to discuss short stories from Celtic countries, and websites we had browsed on Welsh gardens, musicians, museums, and folk music.  Click on "Welsh Links" above to get the stories and links to the websites.

Contact us at   mailto:stdavidsofmn@gmail.com  or visit and "like" our Facebook page to learn more about the Welsh and Wales at local, national, and international levels: Go to facebook