Sunday, July 17, 2011

Daw Fe Ddaw Yr Awr

That Hug

We are approaching the tenth anniversary of the breaking of a significan glass ceiling in the cultural life of Welsh Wales.

For the first time ever, the Eisteddfod Chair, Y Gadair, was won by a woman at the Denbigh Eisteddfod in 2001. It was an electric occasion.

For its sheer impact, this occasion was on a par with the posthumous award of the Chair, at the Birkenhead Eisteddfod in 1917, to Hedd Wyn who had just died on the Western Front in WWI days before.

Since 2001, only one other woman has won the chair, Hilma Ll. Edwards, in 2008.

So all eyes will be on Wrexham for 16:30 on Friday 5 August. Will it be another woman on this occasion? Will the Chair be withheld for want of an entry of sufficiently high standard, as was the case as recently as 2009?

I'll leave you on a lighter note from 2001. The Englyn competition boasted an ironic entry in the light of what happened with the Chair. "Bunny" on the theme of "Red Herring" bemoaned the lack of a female archdruid. Chair Bards are normally preferred for this office, though we have even had a Prose Medal winner as Archdruid in recent times after the qualifications were widened to include this category.

Two female Chair Bards must surely increase the chances of a female Archdruid in the near future.

Mererid Hopwood with the Archdruid, 2001

1 comment:

Póló said...

Just found out that Wales got its first ever woman Archdruid in 2013, and the first Gorsedd/Eisteddfod she presided over was in Denbigh.

Check out Christine James.

The glass ceiling as seen immediately before the 2001 Eisteddfod.