Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Cerne Giantess and the Cerne Giant

Many people have heard of the Cerne Giant but few have seen the Cerne Giantess.

The Cerne Giant is the famous 180 foot naked and club wielding figure carved into the chalk hills of Cerne Abbas in Dorset.

The Cerne Giantess his naked wife was placed next to him carrying what might have been a cloak or perhaps a shopping bag in 1997.

She only lasted a few days because instead of being carved into the hillside she was made of plastic tape and designed not to last.

These are a few of the very rare images that show her in place before her demise.
The Cerne Abbas giant female was made by a team from the Bournemouth university to design and construct a figure of similar dimensions to that of the Cerne Abbas Giant, using only basic (and completely non-invasive) techniques. A female figure of similar dimensions was created using polythene sheeting.

Studies in the soil around the giant have found disturbances which suggest that the figure has changed considerably since it was originally cut into Cerne Abbas hill.

The lines may have represented a cloak or animal skin and a small 40cms Knoll under the left hand may suggest a severed head.

These ideas were incorporated onto the Cerne Abbas Giantess who carried a cloak during her brief existence.

The Cerne giantess was not the only re imagining of this symbolic and mysterious giant.

On April Fool’s Day 1988 someone fitted the Giant with a plastic condom, and the Durex company used him in a photo shoot the next year, with a balloon, and the slogan, “You’re safer with Durex.”
On 16th July 2007. Anyone driving from the west of the Giant would have been surprised to see he had a companion figure of Homer Simpson. Instead of a club he was holding a doughnut and was painted as publicity for the Simpsons movie.
The Giant is an image of masculine strength and violence. Homer Simpson is an image of modern Consumer Man, about as un-masculine as you can get. It was done in bio-degradable pain and washed off after a few weeks.

The joke was that the Giant and Homer Simpson are complete opposites.

So who created the original CerneGiant?

The real mystery is because no one knows for sure when or who created the Cerne Abbas Giant. What is known about this fantastical figure is that there isn’t  any written information about him until 1694, when the account book of the churchwardens of Cerne, is “for repaireing of ye Giant 3s.” That is, three shillings and 6 pence, perhaps a week’s wages for a labourer, or a day’s wage for half-a-dozen of them.
first known drawing of Giant made in 1764 for the Gentlemans Magazine
There is no record of his creation or creators and the first publisiced drawing was made in 1764. When the drawing was made the Giant had a nose and a navel which was thought to be part of his penis when the Cerne Giant was repaired.

This doesn't prove he wasn't made before this time because the White horse at uffington was not recorde and there was also no record of the massive stones at Avebury until Richard Aubrey noticed them while out foxhunting in 1649.

It is certainly not a christian symbol so it is strange that it exists so close to Cerne Abbey. It may have been frowned upon by the church but it is sure that the locals have loved it and still do. I will definately be trying to find out more of its history and relevance via written reports and folktales that surround it.

Interested in Megaliths? Other pages from this site. 

Hod Hill with some digital sketches
Normandy Megalith Standing Stone at St Pierre Église  
Normandy Megalith Colombiers sur Seulles Long Barrow 
Normandy Megalith The Young Lady of Bracqueville 
Normandy Megalith Galerie Couverte de la Petite Roche

Normandy Megalith - Pierre au Rey

Normandy Megalith Pierre Butée

The Devil Stone Bere Regis Dorset Megalith

The Fairy Tree and the Devil of Rabey Wood

Normandy Megalith The High Man of Hacouville

Normandy Megalith the Long Man of St Pierre Eglise 

Normandy Megalith - Allée couverte de Bretteville

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