• Tales & Traditions

    Carnaichean Tealasdale

    by  • 4 August 2008 • History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    From a piece by Dave Roberts for Uig News. At the north end of Mealisval there is a valley called Tealasdale. The floor of the valley is a chaos of enormous boulders. Beneath some of the gigantic rocks are crevices and hollows into which a person could crawl. Blocking the gaps and holes around some […]

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    Origins of the Smiths

    by  • 3 August 2008 • Genealogy, History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    From Rev William Matheson (Mac Gille Chaluim), Families of Lewis (1959) in the Stornoway Gazette.  Rev Matheson begins by explaining how he reckons the Smiths of Earshader (from whom are descended the Smiths of Strome, Valtos, Laxay and Keose) were Morrisons sometimes known as Mackinnons, before they acquired the surname Smith in English.   He continues: If we […]

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    audio: Archangel Tar and Sealskin

    by  • 31 July 2008 • Audio, Gàidhlig, Tales & Traditions • 1 Comment

    We have audio!  Dan Finlayson, Ardroil, in conversation with Dolligan’s uncle (?) relating a story about an old cure (in Gaelic).  Click the arrow to play. [audio:project1 sealskin.mp3] Peter (Padruig Mor, 7 Aird, born 1803) had terrible rheumatism, but the fishermen had culled a lot of large seals, so Peter was rolled in a sealskin smeared […]

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    Muinntir Dhubhain

    by  • 31 July 2008 • Gàidhlig, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    A ceilidh house entertainment in circulation in Uig in years long past retells an ancient Fenian story, recorded by both Dolly Doctor and Rev Col AJ Mackenzie.  One day Fionn and fourteen of the Feinne sat down to feast with a neighbouring chief, Dubhan, and fourteen of his men. A quarrel arose that could only […]

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    Long an Iaruinn: the Ship of Iron

    by  • 22 July 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    Dolly Doctor, in Tales and Traditions, tells of the wreck of a ship at Carnish in 1775. In the picture Sgeir an Iaruinn is the small island in the middle of the picture, with Shielibhig in the distance on the far left. All night the people round Uig Bay had listened to the cries of woe […]

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    Clach Aonghais Bhig

    by  • 12 July 2008 • History, Tales & Traditions • 2 Comments

    I am informed that this is not the real Clach Aonghais Bhig, and the real one is situated up the valley, perched on the south rim… has anyone got a picture?  It is certainly true that you don’t get much of a view of Brenish from the top of this one.  Some maintain that Angus Beag lived […]

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    The Day of the Whale

    by  • 8 July 2008 • History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

      Years ago a dead whale was spotted drifting offshore by some of the Islivig bodachs.  It was just a bit south of the Islivig/Brenish boundary and was drifting further south.  They launched a boat and managed to attach a rope and then proceeded to tow the carcase to Camus Islivig.    The Brenish bodachs […]

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    Dòmhnall Càm at Dun Carloway

    by  • 7 July 2008 • History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    A tale from Donald Macdonald’s Tales and Traditions of the Lews: Dòmhnall Càm and the big smith went one summer to the Flannan Isles, and the Morrisons of Ness, hearing the Macaulays were from home, came and drove the cows from the moor, for they met with no opposition.  When Dòmhnall and his party returned the womenfolk […]

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    Iain Ruadh of Valtos

    by  • 1 July 2008 • History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    John Macaulay (Iain Ruadh) was the eldest son of Murdo and Elizabeth nee Macpherson, Valtos, and a grandson of Angus Beag. He is remembered in legend for his ability as a hunter and as a poet. William Macpherson (Mac Gille Chaluim) relates the following in his History of the Macaulays: On one occasion he wounded a […]

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    Bean Aonghais Bhig, or How Angus Beag Got his Wife

    by  • 30 June 2008 • Gàidhlig, History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

      As told by Rev Donald Macaulay.  English text follows the Gaelic.  Photo of Brenish by Chris Murray.   Bha an cogadh a dol bliadhnaichean agus am màrbhadh eadar Clann ‘ic Leòid, Clann Choinnich agus na Moireasdanaich agus an deidh dha Clann Choinnich an t-eilean fhaiginn mu dheireadh dhaibh b’fhèin agus thàinig siothladh de shìth anns […]

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    Abhainn Ath Dhearg, or Tax Evasion

    by  • 29 June 2008 • History, Tales & Traditions • 1 Comment

      Letter to the Stornoway Gazette, 31 May 1929   Sir – It may interest some of your readers to know how the Red River, Ardroil, Uig, derived its name.  The story runs that the Macaulays disputed the Norse authorities’ right to collect taxes in Uig:  no doubt they treated the Norse Colony as ferry […]

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    The Murder of the Mealista Men

    by  • 28 June 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    Excerpt from Tales and Traditions of the Lews, by Donald Macdonald In the long, long ago, there was a boat, manned by Mealista men, that went for a load of timber to the woods in the neighbourhood of Gairloch, and no doubt they had permission to do so, for was not friendship cemented by the […]

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    Cuoch, the Giant of Boranais

    by  • 22 June 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    A Fenian (and Ossianic) tale, adapted here from WC Mackenzie’s Traditions of the Western Isles. Cuoch (or Cuithich) Mac Nuadharan was a giant who lived at Dun Boranais in the river at the edge of Uig Sands.  He had three giant, broch-dwelling brothers:  Glom, at Ballyglom; Tid, at Tidberry, Kirkibost (both Bernera); and Dearge at Dun […]

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