Mythology: Bwbachod

Bwbachod (the singular is Bwbach) are Welsh household spirits, and are a lot like Brownies.  Other names for bwbachod are booakers and cottagers.  If you are kind to a Bwbach, it will help around the house and farm.  Tidy Welsh girls who sweep the kitchen, make a good fire, and leave out cream are especially well looked on by Bwbachod.  If you leave a churn full of cream on the hearth as well as a bowl it will be churned into butter by morning.  The bowl of cream will be empty, of course!

We're the Bwbachod from Wales,  Filling farmers' milking pails.
We’re the Bwbachod from Wales,
Filling farmers’ milking pails.

On the other hand, if you offend a Bwbach, beware!  It is very easy to offend these creatures – in addition to not liking to be thanked or given gifts, Bwbachod detest ministers of the church and non-drinkers.  And of course if you are lazy or cruel you attract their anger.  Many small things will go wrong the next day, and every day until you mend your ways.

The bwbach is very attached to the home that it lives in, rather than the family as is the case with Brownies.  The problem with this is that they can’t always tell friend from foe, and so they chase away anyone who doesn’t live there – even auntie so-and-so from down the road who has come for a visit and a cup of tea!

A Welsh nursery rhyme tells of the dangers of not leaving food out for a bwbach:

Tommy Trevarow, Tommy Trevarow,
We will send bad luck tomorrow.
The old curmudgeon to eat all thy bread
And not leave a piece for the bwbach.

Bwbachod are small and round, with large red hats and loincloths that look a little like nappies.  They wear animal-fur cloaks.  No-one has ever seen a female bwbach.


That brings to a close this mini-series of mythology.  I hope you enjoyed it!

In the next couple of days I’ll upload a pdf with all nine of the sixes in, which you are welcome to do whatever you like with.


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