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The Art of Collecting Seaweed

For centuries, the gathering of seaweed was an important activity along the coasts and islands of western Brittany. The back-breaking work involved in harvesting, drying and burning the seaweed changed little between the ends of the 17th and 20th centuries. Sometimes, whole families laboured together, for others it was a means of supplementing the meagreContinue reading “The Art of Collecting Seaweed”

The Fairies of the Swells II

Visitors to Brittany in the 18th and 19th centuries noted many beliefs surrounding the little folk of the region. This post continues to look at some of the more notable characteristics once attributed to a specific group of fairies, known as the Fairies of the Swells, in the local legends and folklore of northern Brittany.

The Fairies of the Swells

According to Breton tradition, the fairies abandoned Brittany all at once and over the course of a single night. Local legends differ as to when that time was but at the end of the 19th century it was usually said to have been when one’s grandparents were very young or even during the turmoil of the Revolution; dates so distant that nothing then resembled what exists here today.