leucippotomy


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leucippotomy

the sculpting of white horses on hillsides by cutting away grass and earth to reveal underlying stone or chalk deposits, thought to be a sym-bol of Odin, as near Uffington, England.
See also: Horses
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I felt a little guilty telling her that, apart from that at Uffington, all of the other white horses on the Downs--and there are nine of them--were much later creations, mostly from the lath and 19th centuries, cut as homages to the earlier ones; the Alton Barnes horse was made in 1812 To me, this makes them almost as moving as the real thing--evidence of a continuity that stretches for thousands of years: the power and appeal of a moving horse on landscape and of 'leucippotomy', a wonderful word, the art of carving white horses in chalk upland areas.
Local myths and legends are recounted too, along with the odd linguistic treasure: the word 'leucippotomy', for example, which means the art of cutting white horses into chalk turf.

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