On Wednesday, June 19, 2002, at 11:29 AM, dooley6x wrote:
> The DIL lists a secondary meaning of "a special type of gift for which
> a return
> had to be made at the end of the year." and cites Cóic Conara Fugill.
> Frankly, I'm curious about this custom. Can anyone explain it's
Fergus Kelly has one sentence on it in _Early Irish Law_:
'Cóic Conara Fugill' also refers to the right to make a gift ('aiscid')
a close relationship ('lánamnas') i.e. between husband and wife, mother
and son, father and daughter, etc.
And Vendryes in LEIA has this further elucidation, s. v. "aisc":
Le double sens de « requête » et « don » s'explique par la pratique
du « potlatch » qui consistait à solliciter un don pour fournir une
contrepartie (Revue Celtique XLII 326), ce qui confirme la glose
164 d'O'Davoren, qui explique le mot par 'cummáin' « mutuelle
This is the first time I've seen "potlatch" used in an Irish context, so
I hope someone out there with a knowledge of Fénechas, or medieval
Irish anthropology (!), will be able to tell us more about this. As for
O'Davoren's gloss, I think that even today "comaoin" can imply a
serious sense of obligation to repay a favour or gift. Translating
"Dlíonn comaoin cúiteamh" as "One good turn deserves another"
might be a trifle light-hearted. ;-)