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Story entitled 'Rocabarrai', 26 April 1872

Identifier: Coll-97/CW90/73

Scope and Contents

Story entitled 'Rocabarrai', collected from Duncan MacLellan, mason, Carnan [Càrnan, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist], who was told it by his grandmother. The story tells of a very successful fisherman from Barra [Barraigh] who had three sons and who was envied by other fisherman for his success. In his old age he told his sons that he wanted to return to his home and asked his sons to return with him. They declined but they all agreed to go fishing together and the old man would show them his fishing ground [iolla/iolladh]. The neighbouring fishermen decided to follow to see if they could find the secret of the old man's fishing success. The old man told his sons to look out for one high wave in the centre and two others folding in on it. They came across a school of whales which the old man attributed to La Cheann na Bliadhna and they all tried to escape it. The old man and his sons were successful but the other Barra boats were not and all the fishermen were killed. The old man then told his sons that he'd shown them how to fish and they'd been warned about La Cheann na Bliadhna so he was ready to go home. They sailed out in to the wide ocean and on the old man's request when they saw the three waves, they threw him into the ocean and returned to Barra. The text has been scored through in ink to indicate it has been transcribed and a note reads 'Transcribed No 4 Book 27 Ap[ri]l 1872 A[lexander] A[rchibald] C[armichael].


  • Creation: 26 April 1872

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 72 folios ; 12.7 x 20 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 30r, line 9 to folio 33r, line 5

Related Materials

GB237/Coll-97/CW152 folios 27v to 30r

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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