Breton Grand Druid dies aged 78
Grand Druid Gwenc'hlan Le Scouezec, leader of a Celtic revival movement in the French region of Brittany, has died aged 78
BREST, France, February 7, 2008 - Grand Druid Gwenc'hlan Le Scouezec,
leader of a Celtic revival movement in the French region of Brittany, has died
aged 78, a member of his fraternity said Thursday.
Son of an expressionist painter, Le Scouezec trained as a doctor before
joining the Breton Gorsedd, or Druidic fraternity, becoming its leader in 1980.
A tall, slender, white-bearded figure, Le Scouezec presided over ceremonies
wearing flowing white robes and a mistletoe crown.
"He restored a sense of the sacred and the love of the land to the Breton
people," said Youen Burel, archivist for the fraternity.
"We are the defenders of the soul and of Breton culture," Le Scouezec told
AFP at an annual Druidic meeting in July 2007.
"To be a Druid is to preserve the spiritual, intellectual and cultural
traditions of the Bretons," added the Druid leader, whose funeral will take
place Saturday in Brittany's historical capital of Brest.
With around 50 members, the Breton Gorsedd is a mainly cultural
organisation, celebrating eight annual ceremonies in the Breton language to
mark the solstices and equinoxes.
The Gorsedd has three honorific ranks: ovates, who wear green robes, bards,
who wear blue robes, and druids who wear white.
It is linked to the Welsh Gorsedd, which was founded in the 18th century to
promote poetry, music and scholarship and counts 1,200 members.