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fenodyree


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[Manx, hairy stockings (?)].

A short, dark, uncouth, supernatural creature of the Isle of Man, one of the best-known members of the Manx ferrishyn or fairies; he is usually portrayed as naked but covered with body hair. Although customarily seen as an individual rather than a class, e.g. ‘the feno-dyree’, his name is not usually capitalized. Comparable to the brownie of Scotland, he is helpful and can perform tasks requiring enormous strength and endurance, like carrying a huge block of marble a long distance or harvesting an entire field of crops. In recognition of this second task he is sometimes called yn foldyr gastey [the nimble mower]. The creature was once thought handsome and known as uddereek, but was transformed into an ugly and solitary figure for courting a mortal girl from Glen Aldyn. Some commentators describe the fenodyree as satyr-like, more for his hairy legs than his sexual aggression. The glashtin, known only in the southern Isle of Man, appears to be identical with the fenodyree.

See Sir John Rhy^s, ‘The Fenodyree and His Friends’, Celtic Folklore (Oxford, 1891), 323–53.

Subjects: Religion.


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