15Harbison, Peter. Pilgrimage in Ireland: the Monuments and the People. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse Univ., 1992. 133-35.
Harbison quotes from an 1861article describing the Bacachs at Ballyvourney: "Ardmore, Gougane Barra, Lough Dearg, Shruel, Croagh Patrick, and other places of pilgrimage, are the resorts of the Bacach tribe; but Ballyvourney would appear to have been their 'Fakeerabad.' There dwelt the professors. What the precise course of studies might have been, is easier to imagine than to ascertain: they might have comprised instructions as to habits, rules of conduct, and secrecy; but there was one qualification which the ordinary observer could not fail to perceive, and which appears to have been the leading performance of their lives, this was the cr├│nawn or beggar's chaunt. As the traveller passed through the village of Ballyvourney, he heard from the interior of many houses various repetitions of this strange Oriental-sounding appeal. When the aspirant had acquired a proficiency in all the requisite qualifications, he received his diploma in the shape of a goodly black thorn stick, at the upper end of which were conspicuous a certain number of brass nails: to a thorough proficient, the highest number of nails was given, which was seven; and the great virtue of these nails lay in the supposed fact that each nail indicated the efficacy of the prayers of the professor, which was increased in such ratio, that one prayer of the Bacach with a seven-nailed staff was as efficacious as sixty four prayers from one of the single nail." (Hackett, William, 'The Irish Bacach, or professional beggar, viewed archaeologically,' Ulster Journal of Archaeology 9, 1861-2. 256-71.)