A leprechaun mini megalith built for little people on an Irish beach.
I’ve seen full scale versions that haven’t been a patch on this one for style and presence.
Location: County Mayo, Ireland. Photo taken with Hipstamatic
A megalith is a large stone used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or with other stones. The word “megalithic” describes structures made of such large stones without the use of mortar or concrete. It represents periods of prehistory characterised by such constructions. For later periods, the term monolith, with an overlapping meaning, is more likely to be used.
The word “megalith” comes from the Ancient Greek “μέγας” (transl. megas meaning “great”) and “λίθος” (transl. lithos meaning “stone”). Megalith also denotes an item consisting of rock(s) hewn in definite shapes for special purposes. It has been used to describe buildings built by people from many parts of the world living in many different periods. A variety of large stones are seen as megaliths, with the most widely known megaliths not being sepulchral. The construction of these structures took place mainly in the Neolithic (though earlier Mesolithic examples are known) and continued into the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age.
Leprechauns (aka “the little people)
A leprechaun (Irish: leipreachán) is a type of fairy in Irish folklore. Leprechauns are usually depicted as little bearded men, wearing a coat and hat, who partake in mischief. They are solitary creatures who spend their time making and mending shoes and have a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If captured by a human, they often grant three wishes in exchange for their freedom. Like other Irish fairies, leprechauns may be derived from the Tuatha Dé Danann. Leprechaun-like creatures rarely appear in Irish mythology and only became prominent in later folklore.
Modern depictions of leprechauns are largely based on derogatory 19th century caricatures and stereotypes of the Irish.
The earliest known reference to the leprechaun appears in the medieval tale known as the Echtra Fergus mac Léti (Adventure of Fergus son of Léti). The text contains an episode in which Fergus mac Léti, King of Ulster, falls asleep on the beach and wakes to find himself being dragged into the sea by three lúchorpáin. He captures his abductors, who grant him three wishes in exchange for release.
According to William Butler Yeats, the great wealth of these fairies comes from the “treasure-crocks, buried of old in war-time”, which they have uncovered and appropriated. According to David Russell McAnally the leprechaun is the son of an “evil spirit” and a “degenerate fairy” and is “not wholly good nor wholly evil”.