Balleen Little (Kilkenny)

Carved on a sandstone quoin, this is one of the most remarkable and best preserved of low-relief sheela-na-gigs,
with large almond-shaped eyes (similar to those on the male figure at Ballycloghduff),
mug-handle ears and teeth in a large, hairless head.
What look like whiskers sprouting from above the grinning or grimacing mouth might be wrinkles
indicated by striations similar to those on the Fethard figures.
Hanging down the figure's left shoulder is a plaited rope which appears also to circle her neck.
Ribs are indicated by horizontal grooves.
The arms form a chartacteristic heart shape, and, below a large navel, two stumpy hands pull a barely-indicated vulva.
The legs are characteristically splayed, with the usual out-turned feet.

There are ruins nearby of a 17th century castle, and of a much older church.

photo by Gay Cannon