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Fachan


The Fachan (Fechan or Fachin or Peg Leg Jack) is a found in Scots-Irish Folklore. A Fachan's appearance is so terrible it was known to cause heart attacks. It has one eye, one leg, one withered arm coming out of it's chest and a mane of black feathers.

Nesnas Mhiccallain or Direach Ghlinn Eitich, (the Dwarf of Glen Etive, (Argyll)) was a Fachan that lost a race against Murachadh MacBrian, King of Ireland in John Francis Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands.

It has been suggested that the Fachan is an imperfect memory of Celtic Seers who when casting spells would stand on one leg, close one eye and extend one arm.

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Andy Paciorek
SJMcKenzie
User offline. Last seen 5 years 14 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Nov 2008
Corriugneacht

RE: The fachan as a demonised druid in the Corriugneacht (crane position). I have just finished a post on this exact subject over at my blog

The post also goes into some detail about the possible origin of the Fachan as a "wild-man" druid such as Suibne Geilt or Lailoken. It also links to a thread on CELT-L in which this was discussed a few years ago.

My former collaborator Dermot Egan provided me with a nice picture sketch of what a druid in this 'crane pose' position might look like, inviting us to imagine how the notion of the Fachan came into being. I'm having trouble with the image sizing here but there's a nice - large -  version of the image on my blog.

Cheers,

Steve.



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