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Folklore Thorp 8.8.38 36812


THERE is undoubtedly a growing tendency among

the younger people of the present day to undervalue or neglect what has come down to us from former times. The object of this work is to preserve the memory of the old traditions, stories, phrases, words, and social customs, which were once familiar to bygone generations of our island folk. Most of the tales that constitute the folk-lore of our islands have a charm of their own. To understand that charm fully, one must picture to one's self the old grandfather or grandmother telling to the eager bairns, round the blazing peat fire on the long winter evenings, tales of trows and witches, spirits and apparitions, until at last the children


The young

who had gathered from the neighbouring houses felt afraid to venture back alone. These traditionary tales formed virtually the only current literature the people had. In those times information was conveyed by tale and story, and not by books as

To save the relics of the past and interest the rising generation in them, one must use the printed page. folk do not listen now; they read.

For nearly forty years the writer has been gathering from the lips of the old folk the sayings and superstitions handed down to them. This volume is the out

of his gleanings in that field. Though it does not profess to be exhaustive, it is placed before the public as the first book specially devoted to the subject. It thus contains the fullest collection of Shetland folk-lore available to students of the subject and to natives of the Islands at home and abroad. The book may chance to have, as well, some value for philologists. The dialect of the


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