the wicker man.

Great movie. Great acting. But apparently misinterpeted. The wicker man was not a celebratiin but a sacrifice, a simple sacrifice of an enemy to please war gods so they would not interfer in the growth of the community. Remember, outsiders are not welcome in most areas yet they are there.

And they can serve valid duties to groups with or without willingness to serve.

The wickerman did follow the pattern of sixites and seventies fantasy occult novels closely and the ‘big’ scenes and ‘big’ orchestras were avoided. That made it doubly appeally.

So in the suspenseful finale where our hero detective gets his legs shattered and is burned to death in the wicker man you are at the edge of your seat feeling his pain and hanging on to your balls hoping youll never end up in the same circumstance. And thats a part of a good movie!


WAIT! That is from the awful, awful remake with Nicholas Cage - not the very good original with Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee. If we’re talking that film I take back every bit of that “agreed” up above :D.

Welcome to the Dope, It’s considered helpful to other posters if you link to the column you’re discussing. I assume this is the one?

Did the Celts burn human sacrifices in a huge “wicker man”?

I’m not so sure I’d put it past Caesar to spread scurrilous propaganda about the enemies of Rome.

If I remember correctly, there was some sort of issue with the crops. Edward Woodward tells Christopher Lee that the sacrifice will fail, and the townsfolk will turn on him when they realize their Pagan Gods hadn’t answered.

I don’t remember anybody saying they believed the Gods were actively interfering. I took it as the followers calling for their favor.

Colibri put the OP in a Wicker Man and sacrificed him.

Strabo reported the same thing in his Geographies. His grandfather fought with Mithridates against the Romans so it’s not unreasonable to think he wasn’t wholly a Roman stooge. He also would report and then reject rumors that he thought untrustworthy or improbable. Which isn’t to say that wicker men were definitely true, but it is to say that Romans at the time thought that their existence was reasonably true.

I guess the best thing to say would be that we know that they almost certainly practiced human sacrifice, but we have no evidence other than Strabo and Caesar to say that a ‘wicker man’ was one of the sacrificial methods, so who knows if it was common, very rare, isolated to a certain sub-tribe or invented out of whole cloth? We are reasonably assured though that it was not uncommon to sacrifice in other ways like decapitation or being impaled alive, so really it’s just a matter of picking your poison.