Their Hearts Are in the Highlands

Highland Lass with Lore Master

Highland Lass with Lore Master

One of the premier attractions at last week’s Old Fort MacArthur Days was my visit to the encampment of Clan Mac Colin. One of the reasons is that, although many of the performers cooked their own food, the Clan’s food looked the most scrumptious. When I asked some questions to the young lady in the photo above, she referred me to the clan’s Lore Master, who set me straight.

Clan Mac Colin attempts to reproduce a Scottish Highland (and Irish) way of life dating back to the Sixteenth Century, mostly centered around Glenderry, around East Loch Ewe, the Isle of Ewe, and the Gruinard Peninsula in what is now County Ross and Cromarty. I suspect some of the geography might be made up, but the way of life represented attempts to be as authentic as possible. If you are interested in delving into some of the details, you could hardly do better than scanning through the Basic Guide (which loads as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file). Also check out their Tribal Lore website, which is more succinct.

Although I have not an iota of Celtic blood in my veins, if I wanted to escape the cares of a stupid workaday life, I should think that Clan Mac Colin would exercise a powerful lure.

While going to Old Fort MacArthur Days is like walking through history, joining Clan Mac Colin is like living history. I would worship Saint Maolrubha with my fellow clan members. As the Tribal Lore site says, the good saint “continued the work of Saint Columba in Wester Ross and, retiring from that abby, established a cell on the isle of Maree in Loch Maree, the sight of his holy well. He is also the patron saint of the insane, being drug behind a boat around his island three times widdershins and drinking from this well is reputed to be a cure.”

Well, why not?