September 06, 2011

Folklore, Corrimony Cairn & Munlochy Clootie well

I hunted down treasures whilst away up North
One day I found wondrous snippets of folklore in Inverness museum
top left - a medieval spindle worn to protect against the evil eye,
centre, elf's arrow pendant made from a pre-historic flint, protection against faeries,
folk once believed these were made by faeries who weren't able to use metals.
The ladle, used to remove the evil eye would contain a piece of silver, 
a person suffering bad luck would drink from this standing under a bridge. 
The tiny charms, bottom right were sewn into the clothes or the bedding
of children protecting them from the faeries & changeling babes.
these also caught my eye, medieval ring brooches, the Achavrail armlet
and treasure found in 1875 by a lass in a field in Croy.
Another day I crawled down the ancient entrance tunnel into Corrimony Cairn
a chambered tomb or passage grave, built four thousand years ago
I felt its ancientness seep into my very bones as I looked out
at the silent stones standing guard in a circle .  
Most moving,  the Munlochy clootie  well, an amazing sight, a myriad of "cloots"  
left by visitors  who have visited this place wishing for healing for a poorly loved one.  
So many wishes! To make a wish you walk sunrise around the well three times, 
splash water from the well onto the ground and say the wish. (Cloot means cloth).
The wells use possibly derives from "the power of water in Celtic tradition"
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I am ever fascinated by these folk who's customs & beliefs I have seen 
who lived in a world filled with wonder & fear and feel even more that
these are the stories I want to keep alive, want to work into my paintings.