About Ogham Wishes
About Ogham Wish
Ogham writing is Ireland’s ancient script, often found inscribed on standing stones and in sacred places throughout Ireland’s rural landscape. Ethel Kelly’s award-winning range of hand painted Ogham gifts continues to enchant and delight. At her traditional workshop in Knockcroghery village in County Roscommon, each Ogham piece is individually painted by Ethel on handmade paper and beautifully framed in a contemporary black wooden frame.
While uniquely Celtic, Ogham Wish has a universal appeal. Each piece of Ogham artwork is accompanied by an explanatory text outlining the history of Ogham writing with the Gaelic and English translations. Ogham Wishes artistically celebrates Ireland’s ancient culture and heritage, making them the perfect Irish heritage gift for any occasion. We are delighted to have Ogham Wish as one of our makers on Gifts of Ireland.
Ogham (pronounced 'ohm') was the earliest form of writing in Ireland, existing from the 4th-9th centuries AD. Typically etched into stone or wood, it consists of a series of strokes along a line, where the strokes' quantity, length, and direction determine the letter. Most of the letters correspond to the Roman alphabet, with a few local additions, so in fact it's a translatable cypher rather than a language, read from the bottom-left upwards.
Some historians believe it may have been used as a secret alphabet that Roman Britain wouldn't be able to understand, while others suggest it may have been developed by early Christian communities as a form of shorthand. Most surviving examples are found on stone monuments in southern Ireland, though there are also some inscriptions in the west of Britain too, particularly in Wales. Find out more about our ancient Irish language at our blog.