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Lavandière de la nuit

(Redirected from Les lavandières de la nuit)

In Britanny and Vendée-Poitou, les lavandières de la nuit, also known as Kannerezed-noz are old washerwomen or dames blanches.

Etymology

Lavandières de la nuit is the French for 'Midnight Washerwomen' and Kannerezed-noz is the Breton for 'night ducks'.

Description

The washerwomen are dressed in white or green and have webbed feet. Their webbed feet may be the reason they are also sometimes called Kannerezed-noz.

Behavior

According to the myth and folklore of Brittany, the waterwomen can be found near deserted fountains or at water's edge at night where they wash shrouds for those about to die. They are sometimes three which is linked with the tradition of the triple goddess. They sometimes ask the unfortunate passer-by to help wringed out the laundry. If he refused or do it in the wrong way, les lavandières de la nuit would break his arm or strike him to death.

see also