Scrolling across social media, I came across a page that dives deep into Irish sayings, names, language, traditions, etc. I’m a huge fan of learning about different cultures and languages. I guess that’s how I developed my interest in studying chimpanzee communication and cultures. It was the perfect blend of learning about two things I am genuinely interested in: cultures, language, and primatology. I digress though. On this page, the woman explained the history of the Irish name Medb (pronounced May•ve). It reminded me of this post Kelsi made back in 2019.
Since then, we have gained a few more followers who may not have seen that post, so I thought I would share it again.
Medb is an Old Gaelic word, which was a word for a Celtic wine similar to today’s mead that was drunk during celebrations. When applied as a name, it meant “she who intoxicates,” but more on this in a little bit. As the language progressed, the spelling changed to Meadhbh, though still pronounced the same. Though the pronunciation stayed the same, the spelling changed again to make it easier for English speakers to pronounce: Maeve and Mave.
In Irish mythology, Queen Medb of Connacht was a warrior queen. It was said Queen Medb would rob men of two-thirds of their valor after seeing her because of her beauty. Queen Medb also demanded three things from her suitors: be free of fear, free of meanness, and free of jealousy towards her.
Though Mave is not Queen Medb of Connacht, she does have some of these qualities. She steals the hearts of those who meet her, chimpanzee and especially humans, with her beauty. She also demands others to be free of fear, free of meanness, and free of jealousy towards her. The difference would be Mave is not trying to conquer and rule land like Queen Medb.
It’s easier to see when you spend most of the day with her. Here are some photos I was able to capture of (Queen) Mave today.
She had some fun playing with toys:
She also had a very intense play session with Honey B filled with foot grabs, play bites, and a lot laughter:
After her play session with Honey B, she assumed her one of her classic “Mave” poses, grasping her feet in the air while laying down. One of the signs she is very relaxed:
Then it was dinner time:
Mave, she who intoxicates us all.
Bonus photo of Annie watching it beginning to snow on Young’s Hill again today.