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Credit: VisitScotland/ Paul Tomkins

This story forms part of collection of three pieces contributed by photography and sound artist Judith Parrott. Our many thanks to Judith Parrott for kindly sharing these stories with the Spirit: Stories archive team! To discover more of Judith's work please click here to visit her website.


The Cailleach is a prominent figure of Scottish Gaelic oral tradition and folklore. The legends that surround her as a divine being are vast around the Highlands and Islands, but in each, it is evident that the Cailleach has had a significant impact on the physical and cultural landscape of each area. Particularly in Argyll and the Isles, where local toponymy and literature is ladened with references to the Cailleach and her creation of the local landscape and influence over local weather and climate conditions.

The video below, titled Muigh san Aonach - Out in the Mountains, is a piece which was created following Judith Parrott's GUIR residency with Glasgow Life. The piece incorporates the song Craobh an Teaghlaich, composed and sung by Gillebride MacMillan, and explores the role of the Cailleach and reflects on the modern climate crisis.


We Want to Hear From You!

Share your stories of local tales and folklore in the Highlands and Islands

Stories are at the heart of what we do as a project and we are always looking to learn more about what the Highlands and Islands means to people who live, work, and visit here.

Oral tradition, storytelling, and folklore play a key role in the history of many cultures across the world, including the Highlands and Islands. We would love to know, do you have a favourite folklore or tale associated with your local area? How do you feel this tale sums up the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands for you? Tell us below, we can't wait to hear from you!

Click here to share your story through ourĀ online story portal