Welsh Mam

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A woman wearing the traditional Welsh costume popular in the 19th century.

The Welsh Mam (mam means "mother" in Welsh) was an archetypal image of Welsh married women that emerged in 19th century industrial South Wales. Described as "hardworking, ‘pious’ and clean, a mother to her sons and responsible for the home", this image of women was depicted in Richard Llewellyn's 1939 novel How Green Was My Valley.[1] The mythologised Welsh Mam was seen as a matriarch ruling her household, but in reality many Welsh women were economically dependent upon male wage-earners, and suffered poverty and ill health exacerbated by regular childbearing.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Images of Welsh Women, 15/06/07
  2. ^ The Welsh Academy Encyclopedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press 2008.