7

Many of the tales in my translation from Welsh by Jones and Jones use the phrase “black man”. Is this referring to someone with black hair or someone of African origin?

5

If we look at the Red Book of Hergest we can see that it is not clearer in the original text

http://www.rhyddiaithganoloesol.caerdydd.ac.uk/en/ms-page.php?ms=Jesus111&page=155r

A gỽr du maỽr a|wely ympenn yr orsed.

Literally "You will see a big black man atop the mound"

According to Will Parker, who has published his own translations of the Mabinogi tales

http://www.mabinogion.info/owain.htm#footnote30

NB: When a person is described as ‘black’ in medieval Welsh literature, it usually denotes someone with black hair, and has no particular racial connotations.

  • Nice find! Welcome to Mythology and Folklore! – Tom Oct 1 at 20:14

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