A handbook of the Scottish Gaelic world

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Four Courts Press, 2000 - History - 320 pages
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A Handbook of Scottish Gaelic Culture provides, for the first time, an overview of Scotland's indigenous Celtic society, including many primary sources which have never previously been edited or translated. This presentation of materials allows the reader to appreciate Gaelic culture from its own point of view in its proper cultural context.Gaeldom is the heir to the deeply rooted Celtic societies of Scotland. During the early medieval period, an elite culture common to Scotland and Ireland flourished and developed political and intellectual institutions. After the disruption of the Viking Age, the MacDonald Lords of the Isles cultivated a renaissance of Gaelic culture in a stable principality. Yet, in the last several centuries, Gaelic culture and language have been suppressed and stigmatized as primitive and doomed for extinction.The premises of these stereotypes are re-examined with a post-colonial outlook that places Gaeldom in a wider cross-cultural context. This book investigates the general features of Gaelic clan society in the latter medieval period as well as its responses to institutionalized Anglicization since the mid-eighteenth century. Poetry, songs, and tales, supplemented by the accounts of insiders and travellers, illuminate the traditional way of life. The oral tradition, social organization, morality, sense of place, ecology, cosmology, music, and the role of language are examined. This is an essential and accessible source-book for scholars, students, and all enthusiasts of Scottish culture.

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