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from returning to the sea. He clothed her with garments
similar to those worn by ordinary human beings on his
native Island of North Uist. Later he married her; and
by her he had a large family. This clann or family became
known throughout the Western Isles and even in Ireland as
the Children of MacCodrum of the Seals. But one day,
when MacCodrum was away from home, his seal-woman
wife searched the house for her seal-skin. On finding it,
she donned it once more, and immediately returned to her
Fiona MacLeod and the Seal-man.
Fiona MacLeod (William Sharp) made the tradition of
the MacCodrums the theme of his tale, Dan-nan-Ron, Song
of the Seals, of which the principal character is one Manus
MacCodrum. Albeit the tale concludes in a somewhat
fantastic manner, it opens by portraying faithfully the
tradition of the Seal-folk as handed down from father to
son for many generations in the Outer Hebrides. With
the plunging of Manus MacCodrum into the sea, hailing the
seals as his blood kindred, Fiona MacLeod's story finishes
on a dramatic note. Manus " was a fine lad to see," he
wrote ; " but, though most of the fisherf oik of the Lewis and
North Uist are fair, either with reddish hair and grey eyes,
or blue-eyed and yellow-haired, he was of a brown skin
with dark hair and dusky brown eyes. He was, however,
as unlike to the dark Celts of Arran and the Inner Hebrides
as to the Northmen. He came of his people sure enough.
All the MacCodrums of North Uist had been brown-skinned
and brown-haired and brown-eyed; and herein may have
lain the reason why, in bygone days, this small clan of Uist
was known throughout the Western Isles as the Sliuchd nan
Rdn, the offspring of the Seals."
In Fiona MacLeod's story the Isle of Berneray, in the
Sound of Harris, is described as one of the homes of the
Race of the Seals. Those of you who have read the D^n
nan Rdn, the Song of the Seals, will recollect how Manus
MacCondrum, himself one of the Seal-folk, would be
knowing when the tide was ebbing across the great Reef

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