Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/20

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


12 APPENDIX.

of the barrels, and supports are nailed round the outside. Tar is then put into the barrel and set on fire; the other barrel being broken up, stave after stave is thrown in until it is quite full. The " Clavie," as it is called, burning fiercely, is shouldered and borne away at a rapid pace. As soon as the bearer gives signs of exhaustion another takes his place, and should any of those who are honoured to carry the blazing load meet with an accident, the misfortune incites no pity even among his near relatives. In making the circuit of the village they confine themselves to its old boundaries, and also (formerly) visited the fishing-boats. The Clavie " is finally carried to a small

artificial eminence near the point of the promontory where a

circular heap of stones is hastily piled up, in the hollow centre of which the *' Clavie " is placed still burning. This eminence is called the " Durie." After being allowed to burn for a few minutes, the " Clavie " is most unceremoniously hurled from its place, and the smoking embers scattered among the assembled crowd, by whom they are eagerly caught at, and fragments carried home and carefully preserved as charms against witch- craft. With them the fire on the cottage hearth is at once kindled. It is considered lucky to keep this flame all the rest of the year. — Notes and QueiieSj 2nd ser. ix. 38, 106, 169, 269; BoohofDmjSjn.7Sd-7dl.

No stranger may join the band of workers, but as an on- looker. The sons of the original inhabitants only handle the primitive tools that make the Clavie. Unwritten but unvarying laws regulate all their actions. Every article required is borrowed, nothing bought. As darkness comes on a band of coopers and sailors makes its way to a particular spot overlooking the bay to the west of the village. The band, till a few years ago, was headed by an old man who superintended the building of the Clavie. Now he has resigned the post, and a young man of another family is the recognised chief. A tar barrel is sawn in two, and the bottom half is retained. A long nail is specially made by the village smith, and with it the bottom half of the