Category: News / Blog

Hebridean Culture Week

Magaidh had a busy week in January 2019 sharing Hebridean Culture in the Isle of Lewis.

Tuesday: Clann an La an De the over 60s group in Shawbost,Westside with the Gaelic monologue Os Mo Chionn Sheinn an Uiseig by Eric J MacDonald. The play is about the life of Lewis women who followed the fishing. One lady reminisced about the women gutting herring on the pier on the quay in Stornoway in the 1950s.

Wednesday: Dun Berisay a Stornoway care home with the Outside In films with Cianalas, An Lanntair. The Last Crofter in Laxay filmed by my father in 1990. Cye Ardie was peat cutting, weaving, turning the veg plot, scything the grass, shearing sheep and milking the cow. Comments from a young member of staff included “Was that the same one man who did all that?”

The lovely flowers and crofting animals in Machair Life, a film dedicated to young piper Ivan MacDonald North Uist, sparked off crofting memories. After the film we had an rousing sing song in the wee lounge with lots of laughter and contributions from around the room.

Thursday: Blar Buidhe, a Stornoway care home with Outside In films, where Murdo reminisced about his years weaving on the loom and ladies told of the daily trek to the well after coming home from school.

Saturday: Feasgar na Callainn commemorating the Old New Year customs at Museum nan Eilean, Stornoway. What a relaxed afternoon with Cathie and I singing in the foyer on our coffee break. The museum is one of my favourite places to engage with passersby, whether it is Gaelic learning or traditions, the chat is reciprocated, tenfold.

Then I was invited to a nearby sheltered housing complex. In the lounge within minutes, there was lots of singing and animated Gaelic faces. One man joined us and sang heartily, I made up my mind to ask him, where he hailed from, to pitch the next song from his district. But before we finished singing the song, I  observed some disbelief among the others and wondered what was amiss. “I have never heard him utter one single word before” said one incredulous man. “Look at him singing his heart out and he knows all the words”

Another special moment from an impromptu ceilidh.

 

 

 

 

Sailm Fo Sheol

Sailm Fo Sheol

Tha ath-nuadhachadh de chleachdadh a bha ann bho chionn fhada, air iomadh còmhradh a dhùsgadh ann an Leòdhas an lùib a’ phròiseict ealain Bàta nan Salm.

Mus tàinig an rathad mòr, bhiodh coithional air an t-slighe dhachaigh anns na h-eathraichean, an dèidh nan òrdaighean, a togail salm san dealachadh.

’S ann air bruaich Loch Èireasort an 2006 a chuala an neach-ealain Déirdre Ní Mhathúna a’ chiad iomradh air a chleachdadh seo aig Donalasdair Mac a’ Ghobhainn, ’s e bruidhinn air na fuaimean a bha tighinn thuige air a’ bhlàr a-muigh, an Ceòs far na thogadh e.

Mar a dh’inns e fhèin “An lùib a’ chòmhraidh thàinig rud gum chuimhne a dh’innse mo mhàthair dhomh, mun eaglais a bha air Eilean Thabhaidh agus muinntir Gheàrraidh Bhàird ’s Ceàrsadair ’s bailtean taobh thall an loch, a’ tighinn ’s a’ falbh aiste.

Mar a bhiodh iad madainn Diluain an dèidh nan òrdaighean a’ leigeil beannachd le chèile, thogadh cuideigin air tìr sailm, agus bhiodh duine anns gach eathar a chumail an t-sailm a’ dol, ’s grunn eathraichean air an cùrsa fhèin a-mach an loch.

Anns a’ chòmhradh thàinig mo mhac-meanmhna fhìn a-steach ann. ’S e fuaim àlainn a bhiodh an sin. Tha fhios againn air an uisge gun tig fuaim thugad tòrr nas fheàrr.”

Bha mi ga innse don neach-ealain Déirdre Ní Mhathúna agus bha mi a’ faicinn gun do ghluais suid a h-inntinn fhèin ann an dòigh. Thuig na daoine a bha ’n làthair an latha ud gun robh seo na bhoillsgeadh air rud a bha air a dhol air dhìochuimhne, dòighean a bh’ aca bho chionn fhada. Am feasgar sin chuir iad romhpa, feuchainn ri an cleachdadh a thoirt beò aon uair eile.

Thàinig seo gu buil le taic bhon bhuidheann saor-thoileach Falmadair a tha a’ gabhail cùram nan seann eathraichean shiùil agus chruinnich daoine à iomadach ceàrnaidh anns a’ Cheòs 2011. Chaidh na sailmean a sheinn fo sheòl a-rithist an Crosbost 2013 agus Fèis nam Bàtaichean an Steòrnabhagh 2018.

An 2011 thòisich an còmhradh: cò a bhiodh an ceann nan sailm, na ministearan a bha anns an sgìre bho chionn fhada, luchd-dreuchd a bha cumhdachdadh anns an ùrnaigh.

Cò na taighean a bhiodh làn aig àm nan òrdaighean. Na cleachdaidhean aig àm òrdaighean, an astar a bha daoine a’ coiseachd gu searmain òrdaighean, na strainnsearan a bhiodh a’ tighinn chun nan òrdaighean, na dùsgaidhean an Geàrraidh Bhàird ann an 1938.

Na daoine aig an robh na h-eathraichean uaireigin, tiodhlaicean a’ tighinn dhan chladh air an eathar, bainnsean a’ tighinn air an eathar. Cò na daoine a bha a’ dèanamh dàin spioradail agus dè bha nam beatha. Chaidh bileagan pàipeir le laoidhean a thoirt às na preasan a chuairteachadh agus a sheinn mar phàirt de Phròiseact Bàta nan Salm. Oidhcheannan le pòitean teatha is duff, seanchasan ’s càirdeas ’s sailmean ’s laoidhean gan seinn.

Thòisich an clàradh, thàinig deilbh nan eathraichean le na daoine, thàinig cuireadh à sgìrean eile far an robh an aon chleachdadh uaireigin: Ùig, Càrlabhagh, Scalpaigh. Chlàradh duine na dhithis ’s iad nan òige a’ tighinn a-nall air Loch Èireasort anns na h-eathraichean, or cha do sguir an cleachdadh gu mu dheireadh na 1950an. Bha cuideachd grunn a bha làidir sa bhuidheann, air na bàtaichean iasgaich a’ dol gu Òrdaighean Scalpaigh, mus tàinig an drochaid.

Thàinig daoine a bha dèidheil air na h-eathraichean an uair a bha tachartasan aig muir, a’ seinn nan salm ged nach robh iad air leithid a rud a dhèanamh a riamh nam beatha. Nochd luchd-ealain a dhèanamh film, bàrdachd agus ealain lèirsinneach, à seo fhein ’s à Aimeireagaidh ’s an Roinn Eòrpa.

As t-samhradh anns Na Bàigh anns na Hearadh, fhuair dà fhichead neach-turais às an t-Suain agus às an Fhraing, blas de na sailmean Gàidhlig. Cha chuala iad a riamh a leithid.

Thàinig cuireadh bho mhuinntir nam Bàgh, leithid a thachartas a bhith ann gach samhradh, Hearaich agus Leòdhasaich cruinn a chumail na sailmean Gàidhlig air beulaibh an t-sluaigh.

Chaidh am buidheann coimhearsnachd Bàta nan Salm gu àitichean far an robh seirbheisean air an cumail a-muigh san achadh, gu àite nan òrdaighean an Gleann Bhaltois an Ùig, thogar na sailm aig Cladh agus Eaglais Baile nan Cille. Turas air a’ chabhsair eadar tràghadh ‘s lìonadh gu ruige Eilean Colm Cille an Loch Èireasort.

Chualas an sgìre Uig gum biodh an coithional a’ tighinn às an Scarp, Beàrnaraigh Leòdhais ’s à Càrlabhagh air na h-eathraichean. An Ceann a Deas na Hearadh bhiodh sgothan à Beàrnaraigh agus Scalpaigh a’ tighinn gu tìr air cùl Eaglais Mhànais

Chuala sinn an Scalpaigh mar a bhiodh an tìdsear a’ leigeil a’ chlann chun a’ chidhe madainn Diluain nan Òrdaighean, ach am faiceadh ’s gun cluinneadh iad, ’s gum biodh iad nam pàirt den chleachdadh, a’ leigeil beannachd le srainnsearan nan òrdaighean.

Chuala sinn An Scalpaigh mar a bhiodh an tidsear a leigil a’ chlann chun a’ chidhe madainn Diluain nan Ordaighean, ach a faiceadh ’s gun cluineadh iad, ’s gium biodh iad nam pàrt den chleachadh, a leigeil beannachd le srainnsearan nan òrdaighean.

Tha a’ choimhearsnachd a tha an lùib Bàta nan Salm a’ coinneachadh uair sa mhìos agus ’s ann ’s a’ Ghàidhlig a bhios a’ choinneamh. Tha sinn a’ cur fàilte air gach duine a thighinn dhan chuideachd agus tha duilleag againn air Facebook le deilbh agus cuid de na seanchasan mun àite a bha aig na sailmean Gàidhlig ann an cleachdaidhean na coimhearsnachd anns na h-eileanan.

Magaidh Nic a’ Ghobhainn, Pròiseact Bàta nan Salm. Published in Na Duilleagan Gaidhlig Life and Work

Souvenir of Great Yarmouth

Souvenir of Great Yarmouth

In 2012 playwright Eric J MacDonald of Uig, Isle of Lewis, wrote the monologue, A Souvenir of Great Yarmouth. The theme is the life of the young Isle of Lewis women, who used to gut, salt and pack herring barrels in Stornoway, Wick, Shetland, Great Yarmouth, Fraserburgh, Lowestoft and other fishing ports. The character Mary, looks back on aspects of her working life, memories of community then and observations on her life today. Continue reading “Souvenir of Great Yarmouth”

Sabaist Mhor Wick

Sabaist Mhor Wick

I just love beul aithris stories, from Isle of Lewis Gaelic oral tradition. It is rare to have the opportunity to perform them for an audience nowadays.

Therfore, I have recorded five stories, because of the richness of the language which was handed down to me in the telling. All five stories are now uploaded to Soundcloud. Most importantly, they will be available to anyone wishing to learn local stories. Continue reading “Sabaist Mhor Wick”

Tour guide Hebrides 2019

Tour guide Hebrides 2019

Magaidh Smith is a native Gaelic speaking tour guide in the Hebrides. Welcoming individuals and groups to the Isle of Lewis in 2019. I don’t get to dance at the Gearrannan Thatched House Village every day, much as I would love to.

http://www.gearrannan.com/

As a tour guide in the Hebrides I feel the natural environment offers many unique experiences to visitors. Besides the landscape is also related to our indigenous culture and traditions. Continue reading “Tour guide Hebrides 2019”

Dementia Friendly Community

Dementia Friendly Community

Dementia Friendly Community in the Hebrides. Toil Inntinn The Will of the Mind is a 2018 bi-lingual publication by Magaidh Smith. Working as Gaelic and Culture Activities co-ordinator on the Arora project, An Lanntair. Part one is a selection of my blogs, describing group activities and incredible conversations.  Part two is research, an array of culturally relevant conversations about memory. Continue reading “Dementia Friendly Community”

Prisoners of War 51st Division St Valery

Prisoners of War 51st Division St Valery

St Valery Memories 2018 is 44 page publication with research on Prisoners of War captured in the 51 St Division, at St Valery-en-Caux in 1940. It  includes diary accounts by the Prisoners of War  from the Isle of Lewis, during their 4 years in captivity. Continue reading “Prisoners of War 51st Division St Valery”

Psalms in Boats Isle of Lewis Tradfest 2017

Psalms in Boats Isle of Lewis Tradfest 2017

The Psalmboat project is a multi-arts volunteer community project centred on Loch Erisort, Lochs, Isle of Lewis. The Psalmboat community is sharing stories of travel by sea to church services in the past, and in the present we are singing psalms in boats and on land. Continue reading “Psalms in Boats Isle of Lewis Tradfest 2017”