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Shetland Tales & Folklore

Shetland Tales & Folklore

Mon Jan 13, 2020

Being out on the water, whether boating or fishing, is something we really enjoy here at Herrislea. No wonder; the lochs and seas in and around Shetland are fantastic places to explore. Shetland, an island with such a rich maritime heritage, has some eerie and fabulous fairy tales and superstitions all about creatures that come from the deep dark water.

Fishermen were superstitious; understandable in a time when fishing was perilous and every trip could be a matter of life and death. A bad omen was if the minister was seen before sailing, and the Kirk was never mentioned at sea.

Seals were mysterious; fishermen just ignored them and hoped they would go away. This may have been linked to idea that Selkies existed. Selkies were seals who took human form by shedding their skins.

Bregdi were particularly feared by fishermen, as they chased boats at sea. They would wrap their fins around a boat and try to drag it under, but they were afraid of iron so the crew would slash at the fins with their knives. Nowadays, bregdi are known as basking sharks.








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