Dahud (from the Breton for “good magic”) is a principal character in the Legend of the Ville D’YS, a sunken city in the bay of Douarnenez, one of the best-known of the ancient legends of Brittany.
Dahud built YS (or IS), a city that symbolizes the ancient Celtic civilization in the face of the Christian invasion. YS was a village where art, laughter, and fun reigned supreme. This provoked the anger of the Bishop Corentin, who forces Dahud’s father, King Gradlon, to build a church there. Dahud accuses Corentin of making the city of YS boring – the city formerly a symbol of youth, wealth, and pagan joy. Dahud ends up submerging the city into the ocean and joining the Mari Morgans (a Breton mermaid clan).
The legend is a metaphor of the feminine refusing to subjugate itself to the Christian patriarchy. Dahud symbolizes the sacred strength of the Feminine, and its propensity to resist and create while embracing joy and sensuality.
Some sailors and surfers say that one can still occasionally hear the siren’s song in the bay of Douarnenez.