More about Morag: An interesting lake monster next to Ness

An unexpected find about another legendary lake monster of Scotland – one that might even be MORE interesting than Nessie itself – from Loch Morar.

Writings shed new light on ‘Nessie’s cousin’ Morag – Heritage – Scotsman.com. (Oddly, this link has been removed. I have no idea why. – Editor)

Some of the earliest-known writings on Nessie’s less well-known cousin shed new light on the community which lived in its shadow more than 100 years ago, according to the researcher who uncovered them.

• Unexpected discovery of folklore texts sheds light on legends.

• Monster Morag was seen as omen for death.

Morag, a mysterious creature supposed to inhabit the depths of Loch Morar, in the Highlands, is the subject of three separate writings from Alexander Carmichael, a prolific gatherer of folklore in his day.

The scripts, believed to date from 1902, have been uncovered by the Carmichael Watson project at the University of Edinburgh library.

The descriptions are interesting. In one, she is described like a mermaid, half human half fish, while another is as a warning of death. These are very much folklore pieces, obtained from locals in early 1900s. This lends us to think that there were many more lake monster legends around and they may have each had their own personality, so to speak.

Researcher Adrian Shine is noted to be partial to Morag and has done several expeditions on the Loch. You can check them out at his site. Here is one that describes the lake.

Otherwise, not too much is written about Morag. Too bad. Sounds like great stuff.

UPDATE: This link works.
Legend of Loch Ness to be overshadowed as new monster mystery is unearthed | Daily Express.

morar

  4 comments for “More about Morag: An interesting lake monster next to Ness

  1. spookyparadigm
    February 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Mike Dash was just making a similar point in the last episode of Monster Talk, though he didn’t get into specifics as it was a little segment at the end of the show.

    Until I started working on a now-repurposed project which required me to look into the subject of mermaids, I had no idea how prevalent mermaid and freshwater equivalent stories were in the British Isles, particularly Scotland. And I had no idea how virtually identical they were to fairy stories (capturing a mate from the other side through trickery, releasing them by acknowledging the nature of the captured or capturer [either by using one's name, or finding the magical evidence of their nature such as a skin for shapeshifting], hidden gold or treasure [including knowledge]).

    It’s interesting that Shine and others went looking for a biological monster, in the same vein as Loch Ness, at a location with an established fairy tradition. But then, that’s really the story of cryptozoology and ufology, isn’t it, new science-compatible (at one time, both capture an old image of science and preserve it) version of folklore, and often explicitly magical folklore.

  2. February 24, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    From the description given it sounds something akin to a Selkie.

  3. February 24, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    This is good. Nessie, being a dinosaur, could be susceptible to avian flu. The logic is flawless. Please don’t feed the monster!
    http://www.lochness.co.uk/exhibition/nessie-avian-flu.html

  4. snoma
    February 24, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    The link is now working again but redirects to a different article about mermaids.

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