• Before posting anything about the COVID-19 virus, please read this first Click Here

Súil amháin ar an mbóthar - One eye on the road

Antóin Mac Comháin

Deported
PI Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
2,193
Likes
1,006
Location
Ireland

Cuimhnich

The MacIains of Glencoe - The last recorded crest for the MacIains of Glencoe is a hand holding a sgain dhu, pronounced ske-in gu meaning 'dark dagger', surrounded by an open laurel wreath. This branch of Clan Donald does not currently have a chief registered with the Lord Lyon so there is consequently no official crest & motto for the MacIains of Glencoe. Clan crests are literally determined by the symbol on the 'crest of the helm', which is the top of the helmet, of the chief's matriculated coat of arms. Popular 'unofficial' crests are often depicted with the motto Cuimhnich, pronounced Kooi nich, Gaelic for 'remember'. There is no heraldic justification for this motto, but there is a Clan Donald tradition that explains the use of the Gaelic Cuimhnich.

The MacIains of Glencoe were a small branch of Clan Donald descended from Iain Fraoch or Iain of the heather and those who followed him. Glencoe was among the lands granted Angus Og by Robert the Bruce. Iain Fraoch was a younger son of Angus Og and founder of this small, but scrappy branch. They lived in almost isolation scattered up the glen known for its haunting beauty even before it became the unwilling scene of the Highland's most infamous "Murder Under Trust". They were the victims of the most infamous massacre in Scottish history. Even more than the other branches of Clan Donald, the people of Glencoe were isolated and slower to change than the world around them. While other clan chiefs were converting to the Saxon feudal lord system, the MacIain chiefs presided in the old Celtic sense even into the 17th century, living among their people more like a father than a feudal lord. - Clan Donald Heritage



Súil amháin ar an mbóthar - One eye on the road

Paying very close attention to the ‘Tinker Lady’, one can hear her referring to the Massacre of Glencoe and the Battle of Culloden, as though they were only weeks apart, and as if they happened much more recently than 1692 and 1746 respectively:

'The real tinkers way back, you know, after the battle of Culloden, and after Glencoe. The people, with so many of them being murdered in their houses, by the English, hundreds and hundreds of them fled to the Lowlands of Scotland. They’d no homes, they started to live in dug-outs, they became nomads of the road. Stuart, MacKenzies, McInnes, McPhee, McGregor. The remnants of the Clans of Lochaber and Glencoe.'

Oral history of this nature is extremely important for so many reasons, not least of all because it demonstrates the power of folk memory, and also gives us a glimpse into the mindset and the inner world of Travelers, and the manner with which they remember their history, which simply can not be sourced elsewhere. What were the Jacobite risings and the Battle of Culloden about, if not revenge for the Glencoe Massacre?

When we examine the Battle on Culloden Moor up closely, 54 years after Glencoe, we find that the majority of the foot soldiers, and in particular the front line troops who led the Highland charge, were almost to a man drawn from the ranks of Clan Donald, Clan Mackenzie, Clan Gregor, and the Clans of Glencoe.

Lord John Drummond's Division

Lord Lovat's Regiment: ~ 300 men. Led at Culloden by Charles Fraser of Inverallochie, whose battalion was numbered at about 300. The Master of Lovat's battalion missed the battle by several hours.

Lady Mackintosh's Regiment: ~ 350 men. Sometimes referred to in secondary sources as Clan Chattan Regiment. A composite unit, like the Athole Brigate. Led by Alexander McGillivray of Dunmaglass. Lost most of its officers at Culloden.

Farquharson of Monaltrie's Battalion: ~ 150 men. Consisted of mostly Highlanders but not all. Described by James Logie as "dressed in highland clothes mostly". Included a party of MacGregors.

Maclachlans and Macleans: ~ 200 men. Commanded by Lachlan Maclachlan of Castle Lachlan and Maclean of Drimmin (who served as Lt Col). The unit campaigned as part of the Athole Brigade, though fought at Culloden for the first time as a stand-alone unit.

Chisholms of Strathglass: ~ 80 men. This very small unit was led by Roderick Og Chisholm. Suffered very heavy casualties at Culloden.

Duke of Perth's Division

MacDonald of Keppoch's Regiment: ~ 200 men. Commanded by Alexander MacDonald of Keppoch. This small regiment consisted of MacDonalds of Keppoch, MacDonalds of Glencoe, Mackinnons and MacGregors.

MacDonald of Clanranald's Regiment: ~ 200 men. Commanded by MacDonald of Clanranald, younger, who was wounded during the battle. Disbanded at Fort Augustus about 18 April 1746.

MacDonnell of Glengarry's Regiment: ~ 500 men. Commanded by Donald MacDonnell of Lochgarry. This regiment included a unit of Grants of Glenmoriston and Glen Urquhart.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
OP
Antóin Mac Comháin

Antóin Mac Comháin

Deported
PI Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
2,193
Likes
1,006
Location
Ireland
Eldra - A True Story

Ogwen Valley near Bethesda, Gwynedd – home town of Eldra Roberts

The film is based on Eldra’s life in the 1930s and set near the picturesque Snowdonia region where Eldra grew up in the village of Bethesda on the River Ogwen.

Born in 1917 into a musical Romani family, she was a direct sixth generation descendant of Abram Wood, thought to be head of the most famous Romani family in Wales in the early 18th century.

Prior to this Romani people had been arriving in the country since the 15th century from two main groups: the Romanichelle and the Kale.

The latter arrived from Spain via France and South West England and settled mainly in North Wales. Here they spoke an authentic dialect of Kale which survived in Wales until the mid-20th century. The majority of the language comprised of Sanskrit words but carried various other ingredients including Arabic, Persian, Greek and French.

A significant amount of the Welsh Romani dialect remains absolutely alive in various other dialects of Romanes spoken across the world. For example, the words ruk (tree) and jukel (dog).

In the 1820s the Welsh magazine Seren Gome wrote a disparaging article on the Roma, claiming they lived in squalor without religion or morals. In reality, most Welsh Roma at the time were strict followers of the Christian faith.

This is an early example of the Roma being generalized and stereotyped in the written press.

At first the Woods lived in isolation from the Welsh community and spoke Romanes. However, as the years and decades passed they were embraced into Welsh rural culture to which their contribution was warmly acknowledged.

The story of the descendants of the family is told in depth in the excellent book Welsh Gypsies: Children of Abram Wood written by Eldra and her husband Alfred in 1979.

Eldra quickly developed an outstanding natural talent for the Welsh harp, something she inherited from her great-grandfather John Roberts of Newtown (1816-1894). He was known as the Harpist of Wales (‘Telynor Cymru’) and his talents were lauded not only in his native Wales but across Europe.

John performed for numerous foreign dignitaries in the mid-19th century including the Grand Duke of Russia and the King of Belgium.

During the Second World War, she joined the Women’s Land Army who worked the fields to produce as much food as possible for the allied war effort. Eldra was appointed as a rat catcher on the Isle of Anglesey in North West Wales.

Eldra travelled far and wide across the whole country and she would fall in love with a Professor of Welsh at University College in Cardiff, Alfred Jarman.

She soon gave birth to two daughters, Teleri and Nia, and she was adamant that they respect both the Romani and Gaje ways of life.

Her talents on the harp were never to be forgotten though and as she grew older she sought a fitting apprentice so that her musical majesty would not die with her.

As luck would have it she would meet the nationally acclaimed triple harpist Robin Huw Bowen and the pair quickly struck up a friendly relationship.

Eldra admired Bowen’s talent and taught him the old Romani tunes she had been passed down from her ancestors. Eldra’s pupil would emerge as a world authority on Welsh harp music and today is considered the greatest Welsh Triple Harp player on the planet.

Sadly, Eldra died in the year 2000 one year before the release of the film dedicated to her life. The score to the ‘Eldra’ was, appropriately, composed and performed by Bowen.

Of the five awards the film won at the BAFTAs (Cymru) the prize for Best Original Music might just have been the most satisfying as Eldra’s musical legacy lived on. - Eldra: A True Story Of Welsh Roma | ROMEDIA FOUNDATION

Eldra - Part 1
 
Top Bottom