In Scots folklore the fachan (or fachin, fachen, Direach Ghlinn Eitidh or Dithreach (dwarf of Glen Etive)) is a monster or giant descrieve bi John Francis Campbell in Popular Tales of the West Highlands (Scots: Faur ben Tales o the West Hielands) as hivin ae ee in the middle o its coupon, ae haund comin oot its brieist instead o airms, an ae leg comin frae its central axis. It haes ae tuft of hair on the tap o its heid, bi Campbell's wey o it "it war easier to tak a muntain frae the root nor tae bend that tuft." Campbell gies tent tae the possible influence o craiturs frae Arabic tradeetion sic as the Nesnas or Shikk, descrieved as "hauf o a human being" an happing aboot on ane leg wi muckle agility.
Douglas Hyde quotes Campbell's descreivin in his collection o Irish folklore Beside the Fire an pynts tae an Irish paper whaur a similar monster is descreived:
He haed a verra thick iron flail-club in his skinny haund, an twinty chain oot o't, an fifty aiple on ilka chain o'aim, an a pushionous spell on ilka muckle aiple o'aim, an a girdle o the skins o deer an roebuck aroond the thing thit wis his body, an ane eye in the foreheid of his black-faced coontenance, an ae bare, haurd, verra hairy haund comin oot o his briest, an ae veiny, thick-soled leg uphaudin him an a close, firm, daurk blue mantle o twistit haurd-thick feathers, bieldin his body, an shuirely he wis mair like unto devil than tae man.
Hyde pits forrit thit baith descreivins kythes brainches o a common Gaelic tradeetion, an thit the wird fachan micht be a diminutive o the Irish fathach (giant) an relatit tae the Scots famhair (giant).
References[eedit | eedit soorce]
- Campbell, John Francis (1893) . Popular Tales of the West Highlands. (in Inglis) Vol. 4 (New ed.). Alexander Gardner. pp. 297–98.
- Hyde, Douglas (1890). Beside the Fire: A Collection of Irish Gaelic Folk Stories. (in Inglis) David Nutt. pp. xx–xxii.