Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Fairy Folk of Donegal, Part II

Two Green Trees
Finally! I’ve managed to find some time to post these. It’s been a mad sort of a week, albeit a very, very fun one. I would explain, but that’d take too long and I’d probably end up putting these off for yet another ‘day’. (If you haven’t figured it out already, ‘day’ actually means ‘week’ in Donegal dictionaries.) Anyway, so here they are. The fairy stories I promised for my friend Laura about two Donegal days ago. 

They were gathered as part of 1938 The Schools Manuscripts project, when every teacher in Ireland was issued with a booklet in which to record local history and folklore given to them by their pupils. These particular entries were collected from the area surrounding the village of Clonmany, where Laura is from and where the images in this and the last post were taken. You can read more from the Manuscripts here, and you can see more of my photos here. Enjoy! 
Excerpt I

One day a woman went out for a can of water. She had a little baby lying in the cradle asleep. When she came in her child was away and another child in its place. Every day when the woman would go out the child would play, play a fiddle. When she would come in the child would be asleep. The woman went to the priest. The priest told her it was a fairy and when she would go home to hold it over the smoke. The woman went home and held it over the smoke. The baby let three cheers and went up the chimney.

Mary McCarron, Cloontagh 21/7/38
Excerpt II
When the fairies had a certain amount of mystical control in lonely or mountainous districts, some of my own ancestors, tried to win their favours by sharing their hospitality with them on certain occasions, e.g. on the occasion of a wedding feast or of a christening feast, a good share of the "Spirit" was left in a vessel outside the house so that the "Wee Folk" could make merry and put "Good Luck" on the subjects of the feast. There is no need to say that the vessel was always empty in the morning, and to explain further would only rob this little story of its flavour.

Winnie Diver, Tiernasligo*

*I’m not sure if this one is from the 1938 manuscripts or not.   

Excerpt III

There is a rock above Cleagh which is called Carna. One day a girl was playing on it and a fairy came out and followed her. A man called Ned was nearby and the fairy said to him, 'catch her for me'. One day a girl was playing on a rock above Straid and she heard beautiful singing. She ran till she was at home. It is said that there is a 'cave' in a field of Mr Bradleys at Cleagh and that the fairies come out every night and sing there. If you go down into this cave you will not get out until you reach Crossconnell as there is an underground passage from it to Crossconnell.

James Bradley, Cleagh, Clonmany 12/5/38

Oh, and while were on the subject of fairies, I would like to invite you all to a fae-tastic little shindig taking place the weekend after next. On Friday 24th June, that’s the day before the annual Mad Tea Party,  the lovely Jorgelina is hosting a ‘Day of the Fairies’ fairy gathering. It sounds wonderful, so run along over to her blog to check out the details.


Love of the Goddess said...

Ver interesting! I love Irish faery tales. Thanks for sharing!

Many blessings )O(

Kim said...

I find the Irish fairytales fascinating. These were fun to read!

I love your pictures too. They have a dream-like quality to them.

Look forward to reading more of your blog!

Kim xx

Donna~Q~ said...

Fairy Stories! Utterly enchanting photos! Oh ~ *contented sigh*

Kit and Kaboodle said...

'Enchanting' is absolutely the right word for your photos which perfectly illustrate your fairy tales. I love, love love, the first and third ones!

mademoiselle G said...

I love stories about fairies :-) Think I'll keep this one to read it again and maybe found some inspiration for a new painting... And the photos are simply gorgeous, enchanting!

Della said...

Really gorgeous photos, Roisin, and the excerpts are very beguiling indeed!

Jeanne said...

What fun tales and great photos! Thanx for sharing both! :0)
I do like the idea behind the teachers gathering bits of folk tales and folk wisdom from their pupils.

TheBlakkDuchess said...

I love stories like this! =D
Thank you for sharing & posting lovely pics too. ^-^
Sorry I've been absent for so long, but I'm back & I'm glad to be! Have a lovely day!


Gypsea Tree {Steam Spectre} said...

These are fantastic! What a great project. We need to have more things like this I think! I hope that your summer is going splendidly so far!

Heathen said...

The fairy stories are wonderful and the pics are beautiful as ever!

I popped in to Jorgelina's, what a lovely blog! I love the idea of Fairy Day. I don't think I'll participate this time around (what with Father's Day this weekend and the Mad Tea Party the next), but I will follow along with the partiers.

Thank you for sharing this!

eimear brennan said...

lovely stuff, that should do me for the day now! i've had my fill!

Laura said...

Loved it... just taken me a while to tell you :) makes me wanna go home and go for a wee wander round the Meentiaghs!

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