Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Macha of the Red Tresses

signature image

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Macha of the Red Tresses
Legendary, reputedly flourished circa 300 B.C., Celtic Ireland

Macha Mong Ruad ("red tresses" in Gaelic) married the High King of Ireland, Cimbaeth, and then became the sole ruler upon his death, the only woman named in Ireland's list of High Kings. As queen, she built Emain Macha, a fortress that became both famous and vital in Ireland's later history as a military stronghold and ceremonial site. She was said to have marked out the boundary with her brooch, hence the name Emain Macha, which means "Macha's Neck Brooch."

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