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Description

Mari Lwyd (?Grey Mare / ?Holy Mary) was the name most generally applied in Wales to the horse-figure formerly carried from door to door by wassail-singing groups during the Christmas season. This figure (which is, of course, represented in other countries) seems to have been once known all over southern Wales but by the twentieth century relatively little was seen of it outside Glamorgan, where it is not yet completely extinct.

This coloured drawing of the 'Fari Lwyd' was made in 1932 by Thomas Davies of Pentyrch and shows the 'Mari Lwyd' which was used by his family since 1897. The horse's skull was draped with white cloth and decorated with rosettes and coloured ribbons, with eyes of bottle glass. The original is on display in the main gallery at the Museum of Welsh Life.

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