The selkie wife story-Legends of the Selkies, Hidden Gems of Sea Mythology | Ancient Origins

Jennifer Wilber works as an ESL instructor, substitute teacher, and freelance writer. She holds a B. It had been a year since Mairenn had disappeared. One cold evening, Conall stumbled to the sea's edge with a bottle in his hand. He had never been much of a drinker before Mairenn had been taken from him, but it was all he had to cope.

The selkie wife story

He promises to release her one day, but will The selkie wife story He isn't alone, however. The selkie wife story is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. He was that way. The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures. She climbs from the water with her coat bundled and dripping in her arms, marches into his house, and wifw the skin into an old oak trunk. The amputated phone lands at his feet, wires spilling impotently from its side like guts. As he watched, Sex photos hardcore lesbians gray seal popped out of the water, its clumsy body flopping on the stone beside the women. Ayer Publishing.

Pimples thigh pregnancy. The Selkie Wife - Chapter 3

His young cousin, the king, had tried to arrange matches for Edward until the day he'd died, a month ago. A corresponding creature existed in Swedish legend, and the Chinook people of North America have Strippers gone bad similar tale of a boy who changes into a seal. Search for:. Bella appeared to sympathize with The selkie wife story plight. Batsford LTD London. She discovers the key to the chest in her husband's usual clothes when he dresses up for a Christmas outing, and the seal woman is reunited with the male seal who was her betrothed partner. He'd gotten word yesterday that the young king's sister, Mary, had deposed Jane Grey. Mary suffered miscarriage after miscarriage. Chapter 41 Post to Cancel. Bohn, pp. Ten incredible texts from our ancient past. Your review has been posted. They led a happy life, for though the fisherman was The selkie wife story, he was also kind and generous.

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  • In the beginning, the story goes like this: a fisherman brings home a selkie wife.
  • In Scottish mythology , selkies also spelled silkies , sylkies , selchies or selkie folk Scots : selkie fowk meaning " seal folk " [a] are mythological beings capable of therianthropy , changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin.
  • There is a poll set up on my profile page.

There is a poll set up on my profile page. There were many who felt that Edward, Duke of Cullen, had gone mad since the death of his wife. Certainly, his behavior had launched a tidal wave of gossip. His manor house stood practically empty. Its great hall used to ring with laughter and the minstrel's music at the nightly feasts, but now echoed with only the sounds of his lonely footsteps. Particularly odd was his habit of walking. His tenants reported seeing him all over his lands, alone, on foot.

That a member of the nobility would go anywhere unattended was bizarre, but on foot? He wasn't hunting. He wasn't surveying his lands. He just wandered aimlessly, his eyes on the ground, lost in whatever thoughts it was that tormented him. Edward wasn't mad, but he was compelled. When the memories swooped at him like angry birds protecting their nest, all he could do was walk. He'd lost his wife, Mary, two years ago in childbed. They'd been married since shortly after his fifteenth birthday, a rare love match.

Over the ten happy years they had been together, the only dark spot was Mary's inability to give him an heir. He had resigned himself that they would be childless, that Emmett and any children he had would inherit the title. Mary suffered miscarriage after miscarriage. He could see how they weakened he and he tried to abstain from her bed, but Mary was a loving woman and very And miracle of miracles, her final pregnancy had held. They were to be blessed, finally, with an heir.

His joy was now a bitter memory. He should never have touched her. The baby was a girl. Edward was the recipient of much pity. That his wife had died was sad, but it was worse that the baby she had died from birthing was a girl.

A girl was naught but a drain on a family, who had to clothe her according to their station and provide a dowry to marry her off. The only way a girl could benefit the family was if her marriage brought useful connections. Edward had held his daughter for the first time after the funeral and he was tempted to hate her, to blame her for her mother's death, but he simply couldn't. Elizabeth was so sweet and lovely. She looked like Mary, but instead of Mary's blond hair or Edward's auburn, little Elizabeth had brown, curly hair, probably inherited from her grandmother, just like Emmett's.

She had been bundled in her swaddling bands, her limbs wrapped tightly in white cloth to ensure that she grew up with straight limbs and all he could see of her was that tiny face, a replica of her mother's. How could he not love her? Edward's steward, James, already had a wet-nurse hired for the baby. Even had she lived, Mary would not have nursed her own child. Often, people sent the baby to live with the nurse until the child was old enough to be weaned, but Edward refused that suggestion.

Rosalie came from a good family, the daughter of a minor lord who had gambled away all of his wealth and left his family impoverished. Rosalie's husband and infant son had died in a house fire, leaving her homeless and destitute, and deeply grateful for the position of caring for Elizabeth.

Edward had thought she was an excellent choice, especially since her child had been a boy. The milk of women who had boys was said to be stronger. But something was missing. Poor little Elizabeth clung to her father when he went to visit her in the nursery. Rosalie was not the maternal sort and Elizabeth was starved for affection.

He should remarry. His young cousin, the king, had tried to arrange matches for Edward until the day he'd died, a month ago.

Edward was wealthy, close to the throne by blood, and had no male heir, a situation which could not be allowed to continue. But Elizabeth needed a mother , and he would not gain one through a cold, calculated dynastic match. He'd gotten word yesterday that the young king's sister, Mary, had deposed Jane Grey. It was what Edward had expected to happen.

Jane was unknown to the people and had little support. The dying young king had worried that Mary would undo all of his Protestant reforms, and he was right. But he had no legal right to name Jane as his heir, since his father Henry VIII had established the succession through an Act of Parliament that couldn't be overturned by a simple will. Despite the fact that the people were leery in regards to Mary's fervent Catholicism, they felt she had a moral right to the throne and rose to her call when she marched to London, an army of peasants armed with pitchforks and scythes.

Edward sighed. He liked Jane. She had once been proposed as a wife for him, but Jane's mother had higher ambitions than a duke. Jane was quiet and studious, with deep Protestant convictions, which is why the young king had attempted to leave his throne to her instead of his sister. She didn't have much of a sense of humor, but life had given Jane Grey very little to laugh about. Her parents, her mother especially, were abusive, and Edward was pretty sure that Jane's new husband was, too.

They had forced the girl into accepting the crown, but what they hadn't expected was that once Jane took it, she would assert her independence by refusing to crown her husband as king. Now, she sat in the Tower, Mary's prisoner. Mary had written to Edward that she had no intention of executing Jane because she understood quite well that the girl's treason had been unwilling. She would keep her imprisoned in the Tower until things were settled and then quietly release her to return to her life in the country with her beloved books.

Edward carefully picked his way down the steep path to the beach, one of his favorite places on the estate. There was something about the constant, ungovernable nature of the sea which quieted his soul. Men scurried about, worrying about their petty troubles and the sea cared not one bit. It had been there for thousands of years before his time and it would be there thousands of years in the future, its waves still pounding the shore. He froze in his tracks when he heard something.

He cocked his head. Yes , there it was again. The sound of a laugh. Piracy and smugglers had always been a problem on this part of the coast. Edward shifted his hand down to his belt and clasped the jeweled handle of his knife. He followed the faint thread of sound. There was a tiny peninsula which jutted out into the water, with high rocks in the center. Edward slipped to the end and peeked around.

Shock made his jaw drop, froze him in his tracks. Two nude women were sunning themselves on the rocks, their creamy skin gleaming in the warm sunlight. Edward couldn't look away from the mesmerizing sight. He'd never even seen his wife completely unclothed. The smaller of the two had long, dark brown hair, which the other woman was combing for her. As he watched, a gray seal popped out of the water, its clumsy body flopping on the stone beside the women.

To his astonishment, the seal seemed to split down some invisible seam and another naked woman appeared. Edward had heard the stories, of course, but had never imagined seeing one. Had he been born a few hundred years later, Edward would have questioned his sanity at what he was seeing, but he lived in an age in which the existence of witches, demons, sea-monsters, ghosts and fae-folk was widely accepted.

The selkies' realm was supposed to be far to the north of here, in the cold seas off the coats of Ireland and Denmark. Selkies were shape-shifters, some said sea fairies, others said the souls of those who had drowned. They were supposed to be immortal, never aging once they reached maturity. Their pelts were what allowed for the transformation.

If their pelt were lost or destroyed, the selkie would be trapped in human form, and if it were stolen, they were beholden to their captor until it was willingly returned. Beautiful when in that human form, they were said to have great powers of seduction over mortals.

The men were supposed to be incredible lovers, the answer to the prayers of many a dissatisfied wife and lonely spinster, summoned by shedding seven tears into the sea. The women were said to be excellent wives and mothers because of their gentle nature, but for both male and female, their first love would always be the sea and they could pine away for it if kept trapped on land for too long.

Strange, he thought, that beings who could live forever might die of grief. Time and sickness could not fell them, but their emotions could. The new arrival had gray hair flecked with black, matching the pelt she had worn as a seal.

She held it dangling from one hand as she greeted the other women. He watched as she folded it carefully and tucked it into a crevice in the rocks. The women embraced, chattering excitedly.

Like this: Like Loading His wife shifted to her seal form and saved him, even though this meant she could never return to her human body and hence her happy home. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. One day, the elf woman finds her skin, and runs away, never to be seen again. Fabulous creatures, mythical monsters, and animal power symbols: a handbook. Fall into place. But they all just stare.

The selkie wife story

The selkie wife story

The selkie wife story

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Described as incredibly handsome and beautiful, Selkies take the role of both predator and prey. Those who willingly come to land often seek those who are already dissatisfied in their daily lives such as the wives of fisherman. Selkies can only remain in the presence of humans for a short period of time, and then must commonly wait seven years to return the shore. Male selkie no-maam. The other way in which Selkies become part of human life is when their seal skin is stolen. It is not uncommon in myths for Selkies to come ashore and transform into humans for pleasure, and it is often during this time when the skin is left unattended that human men steal the female's skin.

Ironically, various tales also depict the half human children accidentally finding their parent's lost skin and returning it without being aware of the repercussions. Illustration of a Slekie losing its skin. One rather uncommon tale of Selkies reveals what happens if a Selkie chooses to return to the sea. An abridged version of this tale describes a human husband sailing into a treacherous storm, saved only when his Selkie wife retrieves her skin and rescues him as a seal from certain death.

Though this tale indicates a real love between the Selkie wife and her human husband, her donning of her seal skin will prevent her from ever taking part in the human world again. Painting of a female Selkie. To these cultures, the sea was both wild and bountiful at the same time.

It is not unreasonable to assume that the nature of the Selkies has remained tame throughout their legends because the sea was a source of survival for the Scandinavians and Scotsmen who believed in them.

While Selkies are less prominent in cultural traditions today, they should be valued for their preference to love rather than harm humans. Matthews, John and Caitlin. The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures.

Spence, Lewis. The Minor Traditions of British Mythology. Any time a serious person see that myth, he quits reading. Few people could swim, especially in armor.

There are no records of living Spaniards from Armada getting to shore other than a couple of crippled ships. WHY does this ignorant fantasy persist? Native Americans made it to Ireland many times. Regardless of your views on modern women, the Selkie women had their lives stolen by the men who hid their seal skins. It's an unbalanced power relationship. I'd prefer modernism and the relationships that don't involve what boils down to kidnapping.

But, that's just the opinion of a modern women. Well David — it would depend on which Selkie myth you chose. An argument could be made for women in regards to the Nordic Fossgrim Wouldn't it be wonderful if human women could be as gentle, feminine, and affectionate as these lovely Selkies? I would certainly trade a horrid, shrewish modern woman for one of these adorable creatures anytime!

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Skip to main content. Login or Register in order to comment. Andreas Ost wrote on 11 August, - Permalink. She wants the man she married, yes, and wants the safety and security of not being turned out into the cold sea of the dating world in her approaching middle age.

She wants to be allowed to get a little fat and to not wear makeup and occasionally express feelings like anger and disappointment without worrying that she will cease to be loved.

She goes to the back of the closet, unlocks the old trunk. Then she slips the sealskin coat over her shoulders and vanishes into the night. He is approaching 40, recently divorced.

The fisherman has two children, who love, after some adjustment, their new mother very dearly. The daughter, a young teenager, quietly watches her new stepmother in a blushing kind of awe. The selkie wife is something from the other side of adulthood, something from the magazines Seventeen, Cosmo that the girl sneaks from the library.

Her wide set, strange eyes, the thick mane of her hair. The daughter has begun to sense the first glimmers of this in her own life: what it is to be the youngest and loveliest thing in the room. The terrible power of prettiness, the effect she has on boys her own age, the gazes of adult men. In the mirror, the daughter practices tilting her chin the way the selkie wife does, tossing her hair.

She dreams of the day her prince charming will find her, lay claim to her, and whisk her into ever after. She wonders if her stepmother will take her coat shopping later. He is 65, divorced from his wife for decades. His adult daughter comes home to visit him, concerned when she begins getting text message selfies of her father and his new young wife, particularly because her father, as she knew him, does not know how to use a smart phone. Her father looks on blankly, half-smiling, nursing a beer.

He thinks. Oh, am I lovely? No, not verbatim, but—can we please just get power of attorney over Dad? On the phone, her mother sounds tired, distracted. She has a fundraising dinner to get to. The daughter grits her teeth. This is the house the daughter grew up in: the house where her mother was once young and idealistic and happy, building a life with the man she thought would be her husband the rest of her life.

These are the curtains she once picked out, dreaming—of what? Not the same dreams as the selkie wife, certainly. The daughter thinks he is probably on drugs: that he is probably high on cocaine or ecstasy or whatever LA people do, right at this moment. She turns around and finds the selkie wife standing behind her in the kitchen, regarding her with wide, cool eyes.

The daughter flinches, cups the phone to her chest. As if to hide it. The daughter watches her. She cannot bring herself to ask, How did you and my father meet? Or even, Are you actually happy here? She feels the full weight of her 36 years beside this creature: feels the softness of her chin, the inevitable droop beginning in her breasts.

There is nothing about this girl-child that I want to know , she thinks. Not why she smells so heavily, beneath her BCBGirl perfume, of wet dog.

She climbs from the water with her coat bundled and dripping in her arms, marches into his house, and stuffs the skin into an old oak trunk. She goes on talk shows and denounces these shrill, ugly women with their weeping and their scheming, their total disregard for family values.

Let me tell you about abduction. The sound bite goes viral. The selkie wife becomes a media darling. All over the island, selkie wives watch her on their televisions and laptops and phones, leaning into the lonely blue light that plays, slowly, across their faces and living room sofas.

Their Pomeranians and Shih Tzus and toy labradoodles drowse at their feet, their children sleeping in the next rooms. Some of them nod, thoughtfully. Some wonder if she, like they, wake in the night gasping with a thirst that no amount of water seems to quench. She is not sure where her sisters are. She can see, above, the shadowy form of her future lovers pacing the shore.

And others, too: the vague hordes of them, the fishermen yearning. The boys and men, the neighbors and hiring managers and strangers on trains. The ones who will covet her second skin, or detest it, or tell her what it means, or where it belongs.

For years she has told herself, if I wait just a little bit longer, maybe things will be better by then. She has swum around the island in vain, looking for an empty stretch of shore where she can step out into the clear and yet unscripted air. But the urge is getting stronger now, to go walking without her skin. Hope , she thinks it is on some days, or rage , or terror.

How closely they seethe together within the fragile human form. The selkie takes one last look at herself, strong and fierce and sleek, and thinks, you could run, girl. You could run, run, run, and never look back. But she has to go outside sometime. Find her at www. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Email Address. Planet Scumm is a triannual science fiction magazine.

Live real. Play real. Just try not to die for real. Join Words for Thought reviewer A. Wise each month as she examines works that speak to each other through theme or tone.

Search for:. SF, Fantasy, and Horror with an Edge. What if some things can be redeemed? What if there is another way? The fisherman forces a laugh. The amputated phone lands at his feet, wires spilling impotently from its side like guts. And then it begins.

She takes a breath. Then she sheds her skin, and rises. Share this: Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Tumblr Opens in new window Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window.

The Selkie Wife Chapter 1, a twilight fanfic | FanFiction

In Scottish mythology , selkies also spelled silkies , sylkies , selchies or selkie folk Scots : selkie fowk meaning " seal folk " [a] are mythological beings capable of therianthropy , changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. They are found in folktales and mythology originating from the Northern Isles of Scotland. The folk-tales frequently revolve around female selkies being coerced into relationships with humans by someone stealing and hiding their sealskin, thus exhibiting the tale motif of the swan maiden type.

There are counterparts in Faroese and Icelandic folklore that speak of seal-women and seal-skin. The Scots language word selkie is diminutive for selch which strictly speaking means "grey seal" Halichoerus grypus. Alternate spellings for the diminutive include: selky, seilkie, sejlki, silkie, silkey, saelkie, sylkie, etc.

The term "selkie" according to Alan Bruford should be treated as meaning any seal with or without the implication of transformation into human form. Traill Dennison insisted "selkie" was the correct term to be applied to these shapeshifters, to be distinguished from the merfolk, and that Samuel Hibbert committed an error in referring to them as "mermen" and "mermaids". There also seems to be some conflation between the selkie and finfolk.

This confounding only existed in Shetland, claimed Dennison, and that in Orkney the selkie are distinguished from the finfolk , and the selkies' abode undersea is not "Finfolk-a-heem"; [5] this notion, although seconded by Ernest Marwick , [6] has been challenged by Bruford. There is further confusion with the Norse concept of the Finns as shapeshifters, [7] "Finns" synonymous with finfolk [8] being the Shetlandic name for dwellers of the sea who could remove their seal-skin and transform into humans according to one native correspondent.

In Gaelic stories, specific terms for selkies are rarely used. They are seldom differentiated from mermaids. Many of the folk-tales on selkie folk have been collected from the Northern Isles Orkney and Shetland. In Orkney lore, selkie is said to denote various seals of greater size than the grey seal; only these large seals are credited with the ability to shapeshift into humans, and are called "selkie folk".

The type of large seals that might have been seen on the islands include the Greenland seal also known as the Harp Seal and the crested seal also known as the hooded seal [15]. Something similar is stated in Shetland tradition, that the mermen and mermaids prefer to assume the shape of larger seals, referred to as "Haaf-fish".

A typical folk-tale is that of a man who steals a female selkie's skin, finds her naked on the sea shore, and compels her to become his wife. She may bear several children by her human husband, but once she discovers her skin, she will immediately return to the sea and abandon the children she loved. Sometimes, one of her children discovers or knows the whereabouts of the skin. Male selkies are described as being very handsome in their human form, and having great seductive powers over human women.

They typically seek those who are dissatisfied with their lives, such as married women waiting for their fishermen husbands.

Some of the descendants actually did have these hereditary traits, according to Walter Traill Dennison who was related to the family. Some legends say that selkies could turn human every so often when the conditions of the tides were correct, but oral storytellers disagreed as to the time interval. According to one version, the selkie could only assume human form once every seven years because they are bodies that house condemned souls.

It was only during hard times that the people of the Scottish Isles would kill seals to make use of their skin and blubber. It was thought that the killing of a seal would result in misfortune for the perpetuator. Ernest Marwick recounts the tale of crofters who brought their sheep to graze upon a small group of holms within the Orkney Islands. During the summer, a man placed seven sheep on the largest holm. While on his way home from grazing sheep, the man killed a seal.

That night, all of the man's sheep disappered, however, the other crofters, who had not killed a seal, did not lose their sheep. The selkie-wife tale had its version for practically every island of Orkney according to W. Traill Dennison. In his study, he included a version collected from a resident of North Ronaldsay , in which a "goodman of Wastness", a confirmed bachelor, falls in love with a damsel among the selkie-folk, whose skin he captures.

She searches the house in his absence, and finds her seal-skin thanks to her youngest daughter who had once seen it being hidden under the roof.

In "Selkie Wife", a version from Deerness on the Mainland, Orkney , the husband locked away the seal-skin in a sea-kist chest and hid the key, but the seal woman is said to have acquiesced to the concealment, saying it was "better tae keep her selkie days oot o' her mind". A fisherman named Alick supposedly gained a wife by stealing the seal-skin of a selkie, in a tale told by an Orkney skipper.

The Alick in the tale is given as a good acquaintance of the father of the storyteller, John Heddle of Stromness. A version of the tale about the mermaid compelled to become wife to a human who steals her seal-skin, localized in Unst , was published by Samuel Hibbert in She already had a husband of her own kind in her case.

Some stories from Shetland have selkies luring islanders into the sea at midsummer , the lovelorn humans never returning to dry land. In the Shetland, the sea-folk were believed to revert to human shape and breathed air in the atmosphere in the submarine homeland, but with their sea-dress seal-skin they had the ability to transform into seals to make transit from there to the reefs above the sea. However, each skin was unique and irreplaceable.

I am a man upo' da land; I am a selkie i' da sea. In the tale of "Gioga's Son", a group of seals resting in the Ve Skerries were ambushed and skinned by Papa Stour fishermen, but as these were actually seal-folk, the spilling of the blood caused a surge in seawater, and one fisherman was left abandoned. The seal-folk victims recovered in human-like form, but lamented the loss of their skin without which they could not return to their submarine home.

Ollavitinus was particularly distressed since he was now separated from his wife; however, his mother Gioga struck a bargain with the abandoned seaman, offering to carrying him back to Papa Stour on condition the skin would be returned. Tales of the seal bride type has been assigned the number ML under Reidar Thoralf Christiansen 's system of classification of migratory folktales.

In the Faroe Islands there are analogous beliefs in seal-folk and seal-women also. Seal shapeshifters similar to the selkie exist in the folklore of many cultures. A corresponding creature existed in Swedish legend, and the Chinook people of North America have a similar tale of a boy who changes into a seal. She discovers the key to the chest in her husband's usual clothes when he dresses up for a Christmas outing, and the seal woman is reunited with the male seal who was her betrothed partner.

His tale is of a man who comes across the dancing and celebrating of elves within a cave by the ocean. The cave is lined with the seal skins of the dancing elves. As soon as the elves take notice of the man, they rush to don their skins and dive back into the ocean.

However, the man is able to steal the smallest of the skins, sliding it underneath his clothes. The owner of the skin tries to retrieve her skin from the man but he quickly takes hold of the young elf and takes her to his home to be his wife. The man and the elf are together for two years, producing two children, a boy and a girl, but the elf harbors no love for the man. During this time, the former elf woman's elf husband swims along the shore by the couple's home. One day, the elf woman finds her skin, and runs away, never to be seen again.

While laying in wait, the man watches as many seals swim to shore, shedding their skin to reveal their human forms. The farmer takes the skin of a young selkie woman, who, unable to return to the water without her skin, is forced to follow the young man back to his farm and become his wife. The two stay together for many years, even producing several children. The man locks the selkie woman's skin in a chest, keeping the key to the lock on his person at all times, so his wife may never gain access.

However, one day the man forgets his key at home, and comes back to his farm to find that his selkie wife has taken her skin and returned to the ocean.

Later, when the farmer is out on a hunt, the man kills the selkie woman's selkie husband and two selkie sons. Enraged, the selkie woman promises vengeance for her lost kin. She exclaims that "some shall be drowned, some shall fall from cliffs and slopes, and this shall continue, until so many men have been lost that they will be able to link arms around the whole island of Kalsoy. Against his wife's wishes he set sail dangerously late in the year, and was trapped battling a terrible storm, unable to return home.

His wife shifted to her seal form and saved him, even though this meant she could never return to her human body and hence her happy home. The mermaid in Irish folkore sometimes called " merrow " in Hiberno-English has been regarded as a seal-woman in some instances. There is also the tradition that the Conneely clan of Connemara was descended from seals, and it was taboo for them to kill the animals lest it bring ill luck. And since "conneely" became a moniker of the animal, many changed their surname to Connolly.

In many versions of the selkie myth, the children produced by the coupling of a selkie and a human, are born with certain physical characteristics that set them apart from normal children.

In David Thomson 's book The People of the Sea, which chronicles the extensive legends surrounding the Grey Seal within the folklore of rural Scottish and Irish communities, it is the children of male selkies and human women that have webbed toes and fingers. When the webbing is cut, a rough and rigid growth takes its place. Marwick he cites a tale of a woman who gives birth to a son with a seal's face after falling in love with a selkie man.

A dream later reveals the location of silver for the woman to find after giving birth to her son. A group of selkie descendants, also mentioned by Marwick, possessed a skin that was greenish, white in color and cracked in certain places upon the body.

These cracks exuded a fishy odor. Before the advent of modern medicine , many physiological conditions were untreatable. When children were born with abnormalities, it was common to blame the fairies. This was an explanation for their syndactyly — a hereditary growth of skin between their fingers that made their hands resemble flippers.

Children born with "scaly" skin were also thought to be the descendants of selkies. This could have been caused by ichthyosis , a genetic skin disorder that causes patches of skin to harden and appear "scaly. Selkie children born with a "seal's head" could have been due to the birth defect anencephaly. Scottish folklorist and antiquarian , David MacRitchie believed that early settlers in Scotland probably encountered, and even married, Finnish and Sami women who were misidentified as selkies because of their sealskin kayaks and clothing.

The Inuit wore clothes and used kayaks that were both made of animal skins. Both the clothes and kayaks would lose buoyancy when saturated and would need to be dried out. It is thought that sightings of Inuit divesting themselves of their clothing or lying next to the skins on the rocks could have led to the belief in their ability to change from a seal to a man. Another belief is that shipwrecked Spaniards were washed ashore, and their jet black hair resembled seals.

Scottish poet George Mackay Brown wrote a modern prose version of the story, entitled "Sealskin". Selkies—or references to them—have appeared in numerous novels, songs and films, though the extent to which these reflect traditional stories varies greatly.

Work where selkie lore forms the central theme include:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the mythological creatures found in folklore.

For other uses, see Selkie disambiguation. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

The selkie wife story