Habetrot

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Habetrot (Habitrot, Habtrot and Habbitrot) is a figure in folklore of the Border counties[1][2] of Northern England[1][3] and Lowland Scotland[1][3] associated with spinning and the spinning wheel.[1][2][4] A well known folktale to feature this character was recorded in Selkirkshire[2][4] and featured her along with two other spinsters, who in compliment to Habetrot's deformed lips feature a splayed foot and a flat thumb respectively. This tale is related to tales found in countries such as Germany (such as The Three Spinners) and Norway (The Three Aunts).[4]

According to the folklore of the borders it was considered unlucky to step upon "unchristened ground" (the graves of stillborn or unbaptised children) and any who did were said to catch "grave-merels" (or "grave-scab") an illness that causes difficulty of breathing and trembling limbs as well as the burning of the skin as if touched by a hot iron.[1] The only way for this to be relieved was for the unfortunate to wear a sack made from lint grown in a field using manure from a farmyard that has not been disturbed for forty years, spun by Habetrot, bleached by an honest bleacher in an honest miller's milldam and sewed by an honest tailor.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Notes on the folk-lore of the northern counties of England and the borders, William Henderson, Longmans, Green, 1866. pp. 4-5
  2. ^ a b c Notes on the folk-lore of the northern counties of England and the borders, William Henderson, Longmans, Green, 1866. pp. 221-226
  3. ^ a b Spirits, fairies, gnomes, and goblins: an encyclopedia of the little people, Carol Rose, ABC-CLIO, 1996, 0874368111, 9780874368116. Page. 141
  4. ^ a b c A companion to the fairy tale, Hilda Ellis Davidson, Anna Chaudhri, DS Brewer, 2006, ISBN 1-84384-081-2, ISBN 978-1-84384-081-7. page. 107

External links[edit]