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English names for the household sprite known in Irish as clúracán, clúrachán, clutharachán. The cluricaune is one of three kinds of solitary fairy in Ireland, the other two being the leprechaun and the far darrig. He appears to be an Irish instance of the figure from European folklore known as the buttery spirit (folk motif: F473.6.3). Although Dinneen's Dictionary (Dublin, 1927) defines the term only as ‘dwarfish sprite’, the cluricaune has been the subject of much commentary, the focus of which has been to distinguish it from the better-known leprechaun. The cluricaune is usually a withered little man, like the leprechaun, but he may have more of a pink tinge to his nose. As a solitary fairy, he is more likely to be dressed in red than in green. He shows no desire to do work of any kind and is dressed like a weekend gentleman with silver buckles on his shoes, gold lace on his cap, and blue silk stockings below his breeches. Like the leprechaun, he may know where gold is hidden, but he may carry in addition the spré na scillenagh [shilling fortune] or sparán na scillinge [purse of shillings], a purse flowing with silver. The cluricaune likes to enter a rich man's wine-cellar and drain the casks, but he will frighten away any servant who tries to join him. Although he prefers to stay indoors, he will, when venturing out, harness a sheep or shepherd's dog and ride it for his amusement, leaving them panting and mud-covered. Classed as a solitary fairy.

Subjects: Religion.

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