The Nine Maidens of Dundee

–Informant Info–

Nationality: Scottish

Age: 67

Occupation: Electrician

Residence: Los Angeles, California

Date of Performance/Collection: 2022

Primary Language: English

Other Language(s):

(Notes-The informant will be referred to DM as and the interviewer as K)

Background info: DM is the father of 4 from Scotland who moved to the United States when he was a young child. Both his parents are Scottish, which is how he knows of Scottish folklore like the one being spoken about. He told me this story at the grove over lunch.

K: So, what’s the name o the story, how do you know of it, and what’s the uh content for the performance? I mean like…under what circumstances is it like told?

DM: Ah it’s called the none maidens of Dundee. Everyone who grew up in my little-little town knows of it, as we be right outside Dundee. It’s just sort of told around, it’s not at any parades or nothing of the sort, it’s more sad or an explanation…no more of history about the town, somethin for tourists.

K: Ok cool so…whenever you’re ready to tell the story go ahead, however you wanna tell it works.

DM: Aye. A farmer had 9 beautiful, maiden daughters. He would send the oldest one out for water at a well every day but one day she did not return. So he sent the next eldest and so on and so forth. After all nine failed to return, he went to go see for himself and saw all nine of his daughters lay dead against the well, and wrapped around them was a giant dragon that looked like an uh…a snake. The farmer then fled to his neighbors and then all of them attempted to kill the dragon. He tried to escape but then young man named Martin *raises a fist and begins to stand up* HIT the dragon while everyone yelled: “strike martin, strike!”

K: Wow, did he manage to kill the dragon?

DM: Aye. The area was named “strike-martin” which would eventually change into “Strathmartine”.

Interpretation: This was super interesting and enlightening to what Scottland and Scottish people hold dear when it comes to morals and such. The farmer’s 9 daughters were killed, the farmer ran to get help and people helped him to the point where they killed the beast that killed his daughters. You could argue that anyone would run for help after seeing their daughters killed by the dragon, but the fact that people were so willing to help fight something that had the strength to kill 9 people is striking. It shows that Scotland teaches young children that helping people is essential, and is normally rewarded, as a part of the town was named after the man who killed the dragon.