The Sheela-na-Gig on the south west pillar of the presbytery - SMC059
Capitals are the carved designs which decorate the tops of columns and piers. In St Magnus Cathedral a large number of different designs can be found. One of the most interesting capital decorations is the 'Sheela-na-Gig' which can be found on the south west pillar of the presbytery.

A 'Sheela-na-Gig' is a carving of a female figure, squatting with open legs and displaying her genitals. This type of carving looks grotesque and is a symbol of sinfulness and lust.

These carvings originated in eleventh century France from where it spread to Spain, England and Ireland. It became popular in Irish churches and 'Sheela-na-Gig' means woman of ill repute in Irish. Such carvings are quite scarce in Scotland.

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