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Caoineag (konyack) is a Scottish spirit, similar or close to the Banshee.


Etymology

Caoineag means ‘the weeper’, which is one of the name of the Highland Banshee.


Family

Within Celtic mythology, she is a variant of the Bean-Nighe, known as the 'Washer at the Ford' and belonged to the class of Fuath, evil water spirits.


Description

Unlike the Bean Nighe, she is heard but never seen, and cannot be approached to grant wishes.


Behavior

The Caoineag is heard wailing in the night near a waterfall before a catastrophe happens within her clan, and it is said that those who hear the sound of the Caoineag’s mourning are doomed to face death or great sorrow.


History

Scottish folklorist Alexander Carmichael in 'Carmina Gadelica', says that before the Massacre of Glencoe, the Caoineag of the Macdonalds was heard to wail night after night.


Reference

  • Rose, Carol. (2000). Giants, Monsters and Dragons. Norton