S is for Sorrowing Selkie

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.


From Ireland/Scotland

How did the stories came about of half seal/half people (seal folk) creatures known as selkies? While people will differ, most think it was the sealskin coats that the Finnish or Sami wore while floating in their kayaks. The Irish and Scottish people exchanged these selkie stories.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Do you live as a seal? Or a human? Or both? I have dreamed of what it would be like to be a selkie. There is so much sorrow – to be split between two worlds. When there is a child, it becomes more intense and heartbreaking.

Yet, not all selkie stories are sad. I have come upon kind ones and truly inspiring tales. So there is hope that a balance can be had. And joy. There can still be joy.

50-word-or-less summary:

Man heard singing. A dozen selkies (women). Seal skins on shore. Man took one. Selkies swam off except one. Trapped in woman form. Begged for skin. Man offered marriage. Time passed. Woman could not find her skin. Man and Woman had child who finds skin. Tells mother. She swims away.

Finding the Story: 

Origin of the Selkie Folk – found here

Storyteller Daniel Allison wrote a post on Selkies – found here

One of Several Selkie Stories – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.

Published by storycrossroads

Story Crossroads fosters creative and compassionate communities through the art of storytelling. 501(c)(3)

2 thoughts on “S is for Sorrowing Selkie

Leave a Reply