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Three stories about crodh-mara [sea-cattle] and the MacDonalds, 18 January 1871

Identifier: Coll-97/CW116/135

Scope and Contents

Three stories collected from John MacKinnon, Cairinis/Carinish, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist about crodh mara or sea-cattle and the MacDonalds. The first story tells how Mac Dhonuil Dui lived in a house 200 yards west of Teampull na Trionaid with his wife but they had no family or cattle. MacDonald Dubh fell ill and every morning and evening a cow 'bo mhaol bhui[dhe]' visited them to be milked but was never seen between times. One day, while milking the wife spilt milk and cursed the cow and her husband warned her that the cow would never come back. As he got better the cow ceased to visit. It was said to have come from an island between Ronay and Eval [Rònaigh/Rona and Eabhal/Eaval]. The MacDonalds were said never to have propsered while there were nuns at Nunton [Baile nan Cailleach, Beinn na Faoghla/Benbecula] although MacKinnon claims he knew of one. The second story tells of a man at Sponish, Lochmaddy [Spònais, Loch na Madadh] who saw crodh-mara on an island and whose wife went to milk them. They gave so much milk that they made butter and chese for half a year. The third story tells of 'a hero of Clanranald' who lived at Roisinis [Ròisinis/Rossinish] and had one cow, which gave very little milk. his wife saw a three 'cro maol bui[dhe]' and went to milk them. During the night a voice told her to spill some of the milk on the fairy hill, which she did and every day from then on she had the cows and the milk. When she died the cows never returned.


  • Creation: 18 January 1871

Language of Materials

Gaelic English

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 64 folios ; 19.5 x 23 cm