Flidais is a figure in Irish mythology, a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She is known by the epithet "Foltchaín" ("beautiful hair"). She is a shape-shifter, worshiped as a goddess of nature and a ruler of wild beasts.

In the "Lebor Gabála Érenn" (Book of Invasions) she is said to have been the mother of the cultivators Arden, Bé Chuille, Dinand, and Bé Téite. ["Lebor Gabála Érenn", [http://members.aol.com/lochlan2/lebor.htm Redaction 1] ] In the Middle Irish glossary "Cóir Anmann" ("Fitness of Names") she is said to be the wife of the legendary High King Adamair and the mother of Nia Segamain, who by his mother's power was able to milk deer as if they were cows. [A. H. Leahy (ed & trans, 1906), "Heroic Romances of Ireland" [http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/hroi/hroiv2.htm Vol II] p. 107] According to the Metrical Dindshenchas, she was the mother of Fand. [Edward Gwynne (ed & trans, 1906), "The Metrical Dindshenchas" [http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T106500C/index.html Vol 3] poem 49]

She appears in the Ulster Cycle, where she is the lover of Fergus mac Róich and the owner of a magical herd of cattle. The "Táin Bó Flidais" (Driving of Flidais's Cattle) tells how Fergus carried her and her cattle away from her husband, Ailill Finn. [ [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/flidais.html "The Driving of the Cattle of Flidais"] From Leahy, "Heroic Romances" Volume II pp. 108-128] During the "Táin Bó Cúailnge" (Cattle Raid of Cooley) she slept in the tent of Ailill mac Máta, king of Connacht, and every seven days her herd supplied milk for the entire army. [Cecile O'Rahilly (ed & trans, 1967), [http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T301035/index.html "Táin Bó Cúailnge" from the Book of Leinster] , p. 146] In a later version of "Táin Bó Flidais" she has one cow which can feed 300 men from one night's milking. [Leahy, "Heroic Romances of Ireland" [http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/hroi/hroiv2.htm Vol II] pp. 104-105] Another Ulster Cycle tale says that it took seven women to satisfy Fergus, unless he could have Flidais. [ [http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/conchobar2.html "The Tidings of Conchobar son of Ness"] ed. and trans. by Whitley Stokes. "Ériu." vol. II. London: David Nutt, 1908] Her affair with Fergus is the subject of oral tradition in County Mayo. [James MacKillop (1998), "Dictionary of Celtic Mythology"]

Flidais is mentioned in the song "Limb from Limb" on the album Fortress by the band Protest the Hero. Flidais is also depicted on the album's cover.


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