This Salmon of Knowledge brooch is inspired by the old Irish legend and is based on the mythological creature that gave the hero Fionn MacCumhaill his legendary wisdom.
In this design, the salmon is jumping from the water which forms rings on the water's surface - the perfect gift for a teacher, recent graduate, storyteller or any lover of Celtic culture.
Solid sterling silver brooch measures 1 1/4" x 1 1/8" with locking pin.
*******The Salmon of Knowledge in Irish Mythology
The Salmon of Knowledge story features in the early adventures of Fionn mac Cumhaill. According to the story, an ordinary salmon ate nine hazelnuts that fell into the Well of Wisdom (aka Tobar Segais) from nine hazel trees that surrounded the well. By this act, the salmon gained all the world’s knowledge. The first person to eat some of the salmon would in turn gain this knowledge.
The poet Finegas spent seven years fishing for this salmon. One day Finegas eventually caught the salmon and gave the fish to Fionn (Mac Cumhaill), with instructions not to eat it. Fionn cooked the salmon, turning it over and over, but when Fionn touched the fish with his thumb to see if it was cooked, he burnt his finger on a drop of hot cooking fish fat. Fionn sucked on his burned finger to ease the pain. Little did Fionn know that all of Fintan’s wisdom had been concentrated into that one drop of fish fat.
When he brought the cooked meal to Finn Eces, his master saw that the boy’s eyes shone with a previously unseen wisdom. Finegas asked Fionn if he had eaten any of the salmon. Answering no, the boy explained what had happened. Finn Eces realized that Fionn had received the wisdom of the salmon, so gave him the rest of the fish to eat. Fionn ate the salmon and in so doing gained all the knowledge of the world. Throughout the rest of his life, Fionn could draw upon this knowledge merely by biting his thumb.
The deep knowledge and wisdom gained from Fintan, the Salmon of Knowledge, allowed Fionn to become the leader of the Fianna, the famed heroes of Irish myth.