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Photographer's Note

The Salmon of Knowledge (Irish: bradán feast) is a creature figuring in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology.

According to the story, an ordinary salmon ate nine hazelnuts that fell into the Well of Wisdom (a Tobar Segais) from nine hazel trees that surrounded the well. By this act, the salmon gained all the world's knowledge. The first person to eat of its flesh would, in turn, gain this knowledge.
The poet Finn Aces (or Finegas) spent seven years fishing for this salmon. Finally, Finn caught the salmon and gave the fish to Fionn, his servant and son of Cumhaill, with instructions to cook it but on no account to eat any of it. Fionn cooked the salmon, turning it over and over, but when he touched the fish with his thumb to see if it was cooked, he burnt his finger on a drop of hot cooking fish fat. Fionn sucked on his burned finger to ease the pain. Little did Fionn know that all of the salmon's wisdom had been concentrated into that one drop of fish fat. When he brought the cooked meal to Finn Aces, his master saw that the boy's eyes shone with a pearl of previously unseen wisdom. Finn Aces asked Fionn if he had eaten any of the salmon.
Answering no, the boy explained what had happened. Finn Aces realized that Fionn had received the wisdom of the salmon, so gave him the rest of the fish to eat. Fionn ate the salmon and in so doing gained all the knowledge of the world. Throughout the rest of his life, Fionn could draw upon this knowledge merely by biting his thumb.
In 1999, in celebration of the return of fish to the River Lagan, the city of Belfast erected a sculpture titled The Salmon of Knowledge but locally called The Big Fish. Each tile used to make the sculpture references part of Belfast's history.

If following the local folklore, wisdom can still be gained by kissing the sculpture of The Salmon of Knowledge today.


I will remain not wise, as I haven't kissed this salmon.

See another view with the big crane and close up of the tiles in Workshop. And better to see all in a large format.



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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12726 W: 133 N: 32891] (150909)
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