The Green Man
One of the most ancient figures in European tradition, pre-dating perhaps even the Aryan invasions. He seems to be a God of vegetative strength, a masculine figure of fertility and life-energy. He is usually imaged as a large or giant male, clad entirely, or perhaps actually composed entirely, in green leaves. He appears on the fringes of popular awareness in a bewildering number of guises: his archetype may be recognized in as widely divergent sources as the central figure in the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight on the one hand, and on the other as the basis behind the modern commercial image of the Jolly Green Giant.
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