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  • The Wicker Man was a large wicker statue of a human allegedly used by the ancient Druids for human sacrifice by burning it in effigy, according to Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentary on the Gallic Wars). In modern times the figure has been adopted for festivals as part of neopagan-themed ceremonies, notably without the human sacrifice element.

    Caesar's words are looked on with skepticism by some scholars, who claim a lack of corroborating evidence and point out that the general, as the leader of the Gauls' enemies, may have just been repeating a sensationalistic rumor as propaganda to encourage his supporters back home.

    Today, a wicker man is burned as part of neopagan festivities, especially Beltane, a rite of spring. Wicker men are tall, humanoid wooden structures, woven from flexible sticks such as those of willow as used in wicker furniture and fencing.


    February 10, 2008