National Museum

31 Mar

This past Friday I was able to go to the National Museum of Ireland to explore its history. It had a large amount of historical artifacts and many different sections. There were sections varying from religious objects to ancient gold jewelry to human sacrifice. I especially found the Viking Ireland Exhibition interesting considering how much of it we have covered in class. It gave me the ability to connect the artifacts I saw with the Viking invasion. In this exhibition there was one specific piece, which caught my eye. It was a Brian Boru harp bracelet dating back to 1850. The bracelet was decorated with shamrocks all around the silver band with a traditional harp in the center. Ireland is the probably the only country with a musical instrument, a harp, as its national emblem. The importance of the harp begins centuries back. It is said to have probably dated back to the 15th century possibly later with the harp being the most popular instrument. It has been associated with Brian Boru since the 18th century because he was a very famous King that was known for playing harp. The oldest surviving harp is the one in Trinity College on display known as the Brian Boru harp from the 15th century. The harp is widely present now on official documents, the Presidential Seal, on Irish Euro coins, and as a symbol for many different organizations and corporations embracing their Irish roots. The Brian Boru harp bracelet was not the only harp related object in the museum. There was also a small silver harp brooch dating back to 1850 in the Viking section, and there was a large wooden harp in the music section representing the harp music that was usually played in celebrations and events. I greatly enjoyed my time in the National Museum. -Mucia Flores

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