Tales From The Cuillins #1: The Beginning


The Cuillins

The Cuillins

The Cuillins or The Black Cuillins to be more specific are as dark as their name, a mass of pinnacles and sharp rock ridges violently indented against the sky. It is of no suprise that they play host to many legends. I have begun to collect a few while I’ve been in Skye, here is the first.

Way back at the beginning Cailleach Bhur ( The Hag of the Ridges), this was also another name for Winter. She lived on Ben Wyvis and came west to boil her linen in her washing pot, dangerous Corryvreckan. She was a fearsome and powerful person who had made Scotland by dropping into the sea a creel of peat and rock which she had brought with her from the north. After her linen had boiled well she would spread them to bleach on Storr. It was said that while the hag was on Skye no good weather was to be got at all. Now Spring her because she held the maiden he loved prisoner. The Hag would only release the maiden when she washed a brown fleece white.

There was a great battle between Spring and the Hag, he fought with her, but she was stronger. He appealed to the Sun to help him and the Sun flung a spear at The Hag as she walked on the moor; it was so fiery and hot it scorched the earth where it struck, a great blister, six miles long and six miles wide, grew and grew until it burst and flung forth the Cuillins as a glowing, molten mass. It stood there for many, many months glowing and smoking. The Hag ran way and hid beneath the roots of a holly and dared not return.

Even now, her snow is useless against the fiery hills.


About Amanda Moffet

I run www.scotclans.com with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

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