Skip to main content

Story about 'MacCallain' and 'Frith making', 1895

Identifier: Coll-97/CW1/65

Scope and Contents

Story written down by John Ewen MacRury, Beinn na Faoghla/Benbecula about Duncan McInnes [MacInnes], Balavanaich [Baile a Mhanaich/Balivanich, Beinn an Faoghla/Benbecula] also known as MacCallain [Mac Ailein] who was well-known for making 'frith' [making incantations for a missing person]. Once a boat was caught in a winter storm returning from Uig, Lewis [Eilean Leòdhais/Isle of Lewis] and with no wreckage or people it and its crew were thought lost. Mac Ailein was approached for frith and said that the crew were well and on St Kilda [Hiorta] 'and were actually killing and flaying a cow along with some of the natives and that they would not come home till the month of March.' On another occasion a young man from Howgarry [Hogha Gearraidh/Hogharry, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist] drowned but his body could not be found. On being asked, Mac Ailein told the young man's father that 'his son was lying face downward under a quantity of seaweed in a "geobha" at the point of Ard-a-Runaire Balranald [Àird an Rùnair, Baile Raghaill].' MacRury notes 'Instances of this sort could be followed to a great length.' Text has been scored through in pencil.


  • Creation: 1895

Language of Materials

English Gaelic

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 114 folios ; 14 x 20 cm