Category: Researcher

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.

 

 

 

 

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”

The Old New Year 12th January The Clavie and Oidhche Calainn

The Old New Year 12th January The Clavie and Oidhche Calainn

Blowing on the Embers

The Oidhche Challain custom of circling, in a sunwise direction, the fire in each home on the evening prior to 12th of January, the Old New Year’s Day, no longer happens regularly in the Isle of Lewis. Continue reading “The Old New Year 12th January The Clavie and Oidhche Calainn”

Crofting Life in Isle of Lewis Uig -The Bulls

Crofting Life in Isle of Lewis Uig -The Bulls

Crofting life in Uig Isle of Lewis involved looking after cattle and towing a bull to an offshore island once a year.

Every crofting family living in the Outer Hebrides, were dependent on their own cow to provide milk, butter and crowdie to supplement the family food supply. Continue reading “Crofting Life in Isle of Lewis Uig -The Bulls”

Lewis men at the Whaling in South Georgia

Lewis men at the Whaling in South Georgia

Balaich na Whalers is a 16 page publication compiled by Magaidh Smith in 2015. The publication contains stories and pictures contributed by Lewismen, who worked in the whale hunting industry in South Georgia in the 1950s and early 60s. Continue reading “Lewis men at the Whaling in South Georgia”