The Green Man

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The Green Man

A mysterious legendary character in British folklore dating back to medieval times, deriving from a pagan god of vegetation and the woodlands. Although his origins are shrouded in antiquity, he may also be related to myths of the Arcadian goat-god, Pan. The Green Man is usually represented by a human face embedded in foliage, but some ancient representations depict him as horned, suggesting a connection with a witchcraft deity. He has even been depicted in carved decorations on old churches and cathedrals, suggesting that at some period, pagan deities were supplanted by Christianity.

During the Christian eras, the Green Man survived in folk plays and folklore customs, such as the May Day revels, when he was called "Jack in the Green" or some similar name. Traditions of the Green Man may also have merged with the legends of Robin Hood.