Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/21

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barrel is firmly nailed to a pole. The staves of another barrel are nailed to the lower rim of the half-barrel, and their lower edges to the pole some distance down. Sufficient space is left between two of the staves for a man's head to be thrust in, for the Clavie is carried round the village on the head and shoulders. The pole, or " spoke," as it is called, to which the half-barrel has been thus nailed, is set up, and there stands the empty Clavie. As each additional performance is completed, the workers stop and give three cheers, the crowd of children and onlookers usually joining. "Three cheers for that," rings out again and again, and as the sounds rise, a strange feeling of excitement gets abroad. When the last stave is nailed on, the greater part of the work is over. The round stone used for a hammer is thrown aside, and the work of fillling the Clavie with sticks and tar begins. When all is ready, one of the band is sent for a burning peat, which is always supplied from the same house. This is applied to the tar, and soon the Clavie is ablaze, and the cheers literally become howls of excited glee. The first to put his head under this mass of flames is usually some one of their number who has recently been married. The first " lift " of the Clavie is an honour, and is bought in the orthodox fashion — a round of whiskey to the workers. And now the strange pro- cession hurries along the streets. He who carries the tar- dripping and flaming Clavie does not walk ; he runs, and the motley crowd surges around him and behind him, cheering and shouting. On they hurry, along the same streets where similar processions have gone year after year. At certain houses, and at certain street-corners, a halt is made, and a brand is whipped out of the Clavie, and hurled on its flaming errand of good-luck among the crowd. He who seizes the brand shall be the favourite of Fortune during the months of the coming new year. Near the head of the promontory is the Doorie Hill, the only re- maining " Baillie." To this mound the Clavie is finally carried. A stone altar stands on the summit of the Doorie, into a hole in the centre of which the spoke of the Clavie is inserted. In this