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Story entitled 'Crodh Marra' [sea-cattle], 4 February 1895

Identifier: Coll-97/CW1/86

Scope and Contents

Story written down by John Ewen MacRury, Beinn na Faoghla/Benbecula entitled 'Crodh Marra' [crodh-mara or sea-cattle]. It tells how a man in Howgarry, North Uist [Hogha Gearraidh/Hogharry, Uibhist a Tuath] was having a difficult time, with his children and his cattle dying in infancy so on the advice of a wise old man, he decided to get one of the red and white sea cattle, which were often seen in the water near the shore. To do this he had to sprinkle 'ùir dhubh' or black loam soil on the cattle, when they came onshore. He successfully got heifer which he fed on 'fimin chirin' [feamainn chirean or channelled wrack] and consequently called Cirin. She produced milk and a calf, called Gruaigean and was allowed to return to the sea once a year to mate but always returned. One night, having had Cirin for fourteen years and a good stock of cattle, the man decided to kill her the following winter but when he got up the next morning Cirin went into the sea and never returned.'However she left a breed of good cattle in the long island, progeny of Gruaigean as from that very day to this day the two Uists were never without plenty of cattle called Gruagain.'


  • Creation: 4 February 1895

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 114 folios ; 14 x 20 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 76r, line 1 to folio 81r, line 12

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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