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Story and traditions about seals under the heading 'Roin', c1875

Identifier: Coll-97/CW112/28

Scope and Contents

Story and traditions about seals under the heading 'Roin' collected from Major James A Macrae of Valley and Griminish, North Uist [Bhàlaigh/Vallay Griminis, Uibhist a Tuath]. The story tells how Odar was a Viking warrior who raided the west coast after the Norsemen had been expelled by MacDonald, Lord of the Isles. MacDonald put up a reward for whoever brought him Odar's head, dead or alive. Mac Uistean [Mac Uisdean] captured Odar at Caisteal Odar and decapitated him and took MacDonald Odar's head. He and his posterity were rewarded with the seals of Haisgeir [Theisgeir/Heisker/Monach Isles], which were prized both as food and oil. Odar's head was buried at Earann Mholach, Peighinn Mhor, Griminnish [Peighinn Mhòr, Griminis/Griminish]. The story then describes how each seal was portioned amongst boatmen and people in Griminish, Killepheadair [Cille Pheadair/Kilpheder] and Scolpaig, and how different seals were given to the minister of Cille Mhoire [Kilmuir] 'to offer up in sacrifice to the "gods"', the blacksmith and the people of Bororey [Boraraigh/Boreray]. Macrae described how some of the Heisker seals are up to twelve feet long and how young seals have a cry like a child and beautiful eyes.


  • Creation: c1875

Language of Materials

English Gaelic

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 183 folios ; 20 x 23.8cm