Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Evocative names, evocative places

A Celtic sense of place means that Gaelic place names are often highly descriptive and sometimes beautifully evocative. I thought I would just share two evocative names for two very evocative places. The first is Loch Druidbeag on South Uist pictured above. The name means Little Lake of the Druids. It is now a bird reserve, a special place set aside for nature. I love how the shapes of hills in the background remind one of the Goddess.

The second is Pobull Fhinn on North Uist. Pobull Fhinn is a stone circle dating from the second millennium bce. The name means, Fionn's People or The Fair People referring to the Fiannaidheacht of Gaelic Myth. It could almost be the stone circle of the ancient ones. A place to move between the worlds. A place that must have always had a compelling beauty.

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Blogger Spiral Dancer said...

Lovely..I forget just how ancient Scotland sites and names are and I live here. The weather is fabulous what luck for you to have this when you are up there ( hoping its the same..I am sure it will be good) Thank you for the pictures..hope you continue to heal and rest :)

Blogger Paul said...

Hi Spiral Dancer, yes the weather has been glorious. Today on Barra there was a little soft gentle rain that helped bathe the isle in a softer light. Some of the hills were coyly veiling themselves in a light mist. Quite the fairy landscape.

Blogger An Donas said...

I doubt your translation. Druid comes from the Gaelic 'draoidh'. Loch Beag nan Draoidh would 'little loch of the druids'.

The word 'druid' though means starling.

Poball Fhinn does indeed refer to the mythological warriors and giants of Fionn MacCumhaill and his 'Fianna'.

Most of today's Gaels have moved on from ancient superstitions though and prefer BBC Alba to the bleak moorland!

Blogger Paul said...

An Donas

Thank you for your comments on the translations :)

I have some grasp of Irish Gaelic but little of Scotch Gaelic.

I love BBC Alba - some of the best programmes on the BBC and the English Subtitles are a boon to those of us trying to grasp a little Scotch Gaelic


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