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Story entitled 'A Bhean Nighe' about a fairy washer-woman, 1891

Identifier: Coll-97/CW108/146

Scope and Contents

Story entitled 'A Bhean Nighe' about a washer-woman encountered at Lochan Dubh na Beinne by Iain Bàn Tàillear. He seizes her by her left hand and demands wealth which she grants but asks why he did not ask for children his response to which is to ask for them too but she says no and that he will never have an heir. Everything happens as the washer-woman predicted. He asks what she is washing and she tells him that she is washing the shirts of people who will drown this year in North Tolsta [Tolstadh Bho Thuath, Eilean Leòdhais /Isle of Lewis]. That year a fishing crew died coming back from Wick [Inbhir Ù ige, Gallaibh/Caithness]. A man met the washer-woman again and asked who saw whom first and he said he saw her first. She said it was as well for him but if he came back the next day she would wash clothes for him but he refused.


  • Creation: 1891

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 62 folios ; 23.5 x 19.5 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 40r, line 10 to folio 41r, line 7


MacPhail, Malcolm, 'Folkore from the Hebrides, IV', Folklore, vol. 9, no. 1 (898), pp. 91-9

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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