Writer and documentary maker Manchán Magan roamed the sea-roads and coastal trails of the Atlantic coast of Ireland in the company of local folklorists, fisherman and linguists, seeking and collecting forgotten sea words and maritime terms.
The result of this voyage through communities connected with the ocean along the west coast is Sea Tamagotchi: Foclóir Farraige.
This is a collection of fascinating and insightful sound files created from the many hours of tape Manchán had gathered from conversations and encounters on his coastal travels.
Sea Tamagotchi was commissioned by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture and allowed Manchán to visit elderly boatmen and families connected to the sea, gathering a rich harvest of maritime words that are gradually fading from consciousness.
Speaking on the importance of the project Manchán said “It’s amazing how a single word can give insight into so much, a mind-set, a way of life, a fishing practice, a weather pattern, navigation system or some of the psychological aspects of life along the shore.
“The loss of even one of these words wipes out something precious – an insight or hard-won knowledge that is gone forever.
“The coastal people who created the words depended for their survival on the natural resources of their surroundings and so each word has an intensity and profundity that is rare now.”
Reflecting on the legacy of this project, Marilyn Gaughan-Reddan, Head of Programme, Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture said “Through his practice as an artist, Manchán has become synonymous with the collection and harvesting of Irish words, capturing the richness and the beauty of our language and our place.
“We have been honoured to share Manchán’s journey along the west coast in the collection of these words and are delighted to share this project online forever archiving his beautiful collection for posterity.”
In an effort to protect and prevent these words and their knowledge being lost, they are being archived at Manchan.com in short videos and audio clips to illustrate and animate some of the more significant words.
In addition, in partnership with Redfoxpress of Achill Island a richly illustrated handmade book with some of the most evocative words gathered will be published.
For more information about this incredibly unique slice-of-life undertaking visit www.instagram.com/manchanmagan.