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The Legend of the Selkie

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1 The Legend of the Selkie

2 There is a legend in Scottish folklore of the Selkie men
This legend has been told from the Orkney Islands down through the Highlands and Ireland, Wales, and even Iceland. Seals in the sea, men on land, this is one of the most romantic and enduring tales of Scottish mythology. There is a legend in Scottish folklore of the Selkie men

3 The Selkie men often came to shore on their own, but legend also says that a woman disappointed in love could weep seven tears into the sea to call a Selkie lover

4 The Selkie would shed his sealskin on the beach, in human form on land
Selkie men were described as pale and dark-haired, with large, dark eyes resembling those of the seal All legends say that the Selkie men were handsome and charming

5 If a woman took his sealskin it would bind the Selkie to her – and to the land
However, because of her duplicity, one day he will find the skin again And break her heart Return to the sea The Selkie man would visit the woman and love her, as was a Selkie’s purpose Sometimes, the Selkie only visited for a short time, and returned to the sea. The human woman would give birth to a child some time later. After the child was born, the Selkie would return, pay her the nursing fee, and then take the child to the sea to learn the ways of the seal-folk Here, the story branches in to three different endings…

6 Most Selkie stories have a tragic ending
But not all … If the Selkie man fell in love with the human woman

7 Where they would be together for always
He would take her in to the Seal Kingdom

8 Recreation of the Selkie Legend Photography: Stuart Hyland –
Creative Director and Model: Brea Morgiane – Male Model: Alasdair Reavey Make Up Artist: Elaine Meyer-Turner – Lighting: Simon Pole – Shot on Salcoats beach January 2013 © Stuart Hyland 2013

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