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Submitted on
September 22, 2013
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1,172 (who?)
Faoladh - Irish Werewolf by oomizuao Faoladh - Irish Werewolf by oomizuao
Inspired by *Nashoba-Hostina 's wonderful drawing and interesting Artist Comment of this deviation:
I learned about the Faoladh/faelad today, and they're now officially my favorite type of werewolf. <3
They're the kind, protective and loyal type. I'll quote some info that I found on Tumblr and on this website -… :

The Irish werewolf is different from the Teutonic or European werewolf, as it is really not a "monster" at all. Unlike its continental cousins, this shapeshifter is the guardian and protector of children, wounded men and lost persons. According to some ancient sources, the Irish werewolves were even recruited by kings in time of war.

That short bit of info alone made me really love this type of werewolf, because wolves aren't viscious, horrible beasts. They're amazing creatures that deserve a hell of a lot more respect than they're getting. Wolves don't deserve their bad reputation at all...! So I think this werewolf is how werewolves should be, as it's more true to the animal they're based on / shapeshifting into.

Inspired by the faoladh, I sketched my own little version of one. I also added a quote that I love, which is from the lovely movie "Wolf Children Ame and Yuki" ("ookami kodomo no Ame to Yuki" I think the original title was). The quote reads: "Why does the wolf always have to be the bad guy?"

I'll recommend checking out *Nashoba-Hostina 's deviation which I linked to, and read the description below her drawing. It's really interesting :nod:

I hope you like this little sketch though :)

art by: Elise M. Syvertsen / oomizuao 2013
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DevilsWalk Featured By Owner May 9, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
This reminds me of the Legend of Chuchulainn.....Where he kills the guardian hound and becomes one himself.
RiiKarii Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I LOVE THAT MOVIE!! Ame is so cute >3<
BearXDog Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2014  Student General Artist
Lovely :D (Big Grin) 
Kumorifox1982 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
I'm SO glad that there is somebody who knows their Irish mythology! The werewolf, the banshee, the leprechaun and the fairy all have undeserved and incorrect presumptions made about them. Thank you for this!

*clicks favourites*
BJockes Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
"The Irish werewolves were even recruited by kings in time of war"... Shapeshifters and warriors... Reminds me the legends about the Cheyenne's dog soldiers. 

Adolphina Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist
I've been studying wolves for years now, you could say I have an obsesion with them, and just yesterday was the first time I had heard of the Faoladh. And it's funny that now out of sheer luck I find this. I love it!
silvershoelaces Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
"Why does the wolf always have to be the bad guy?"

Is that from Wolf Children?  That movie was amazing~
AudeS Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013
After a bunch of research, even going so far to read novels of researchers for tundra life, the wolf appears to be a rather shy animal. It's even more noteworthy that animals also have specific tendencies of what to eat. As far as I know there are only six mammals, which actively hunt on humans. Tigers, Lions, Jaguars, Leopards, Brown Bears and Polar Bears.
I guess the whole story of the "Big Bad" came, because wolves killed livestock. I researched fossas a few hours ago and despite being way too small to be harmful to humans, there are claims that they are. It was noted that fossas prey on livestock as well so I counted 2 and 2 together.

Well, now to the picture. The faoladh, which would mean Fae Wolf, if I guess it correctly, is indeed a very interesting variation of the werewolf. A guardian rather than a monster. Some sources might say that Irish Kings would pay them with Children's flesh, but.... that would conflic with the guardian aspect and the fact that the name even contains the word Fae, which basically means "Good People". I assume that this part of the legend might have been added by the Roman Christians to avert the Celtic myth. Since there are also other post-Celtic legends, which show this type of lycanthophy as a curse, it makes sense.
When it comes to modern media, you have had two different mythologies used already. The teutonian werewolf, which we see in nearly every werewolf medium, which has some vague roots to mythology, and the type of werewolf the Quileute believed in... and certainly, I guess Twilight is a bad example of how to make things different, since it's either loving or hating it.

Well, I guess the drawing style should be commented, too. It looks pretty well done. Anatomy and fur details are splendid. I give credit to the fact that the fingers are much more than a mix of paw and hand than a hand with paw features... not that I have preferences with that, but I think it's an interesting way to draw it. The piece of cloth arounf the waist is perhaps not so important, but it's a good job you did with the folds (I hope it's the right term I'm using for that). It looks pretty dynamic and not even a wee bit stiff.
The pose of the faoladh shows a lot of determination to break with the believes of the people. Since he appears to be calm with his expression and the hand on his chest, he already breaks with the trope of the bloodthirsty werewolf.

And of course, I know the name Nashoba Hostina pretty well. Her comic series Eldritch features so much forgotten lore and mythology, I'm certain that her knowledge about mythology is by far one of the biggest I have ever seen.

Btw, there is also another type of werewolf in Scottland, called Wulver.

And I guess you just got one of the longest comments I have ever written, which certainly means something.
BJockes Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
It's also possible that the origin of that bad reputation come from the periods of endless battles who shacked The European continent. Major part of the attacks on people happened on this periods or just after. Wolves are scavengers and benefited of the battlefields. And when an animal eat a lot of the same food, it become "addicted" (ex: the rabbits feed with cereals too much time hardly return to grass). So, when human corpses were rare, the addicted wolves chose to find their favorite meat by themselves. In France, the localities who weren't plagued with chronically wars were spared of such attacks and people liked wolves here!... Sad. Humanity change an entire continent into a bloodbath for entire decades and who win the bad reputation and end exterminated (in France)? Wolves. ...We always create our own nightmares.

And Nashoba is indeed a little celebrity on DA.
AudeS Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
It is a good point. Especially since the countries, where reputation of the wolf is the worst are very wardriven. Germany and France were constantly fighting with each other, so the border region, including the teutonian region, where the bloodthristy werewolf derives from, were probably often tainted with human blood and corpses. In normal cases, a corpse would be burned or buried, but it's hardly possible to clean up an entire battlefield. Wolves, crows and other animals would probably feed on the corpses therefore. It's a natural process to ensure that dead bodies don't litter the living space for the living beings. Of course, with so much corpses during wartime, it is just logical that animals get used to it and start to develop a preference for the taste. So, basically we can blame the warmongers mostly for it. And certainly, there are many of them.
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