Ceòlas symposium illuminates mediaeval bardic lineage

28th July 2017

[:en]The MacMhuirich family of classic bards, who resided in the townships of Stadhlaigearraidh and Dreumasdal in South Uist between the 16th and 19th centuries, were the subject of Ceòlas Uibhist’s 2017 community symposium. The community was out in force during the four day event, featuring lectures by professors Dr Sìm Innes, University of Glasgow, Dr Ùisdean Cheape, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, piper and singer Ailean Dòmhnallach and local tradition bearers.

The symposium was opened by an exhibition of photos, memorabilia and artwork in Taigh-cèilidh Ghèirinis. Items were provided on loan by households in the two highlighted townships, as well as several submissions from Uist families on the mainland. Members of the public are welcome to visit the exhibition until the 17th August, open between 12pm-6pm.

Taisbeanadh nam bailtean, Taigh-cèilidh Ghèirinis

The annual Sunday mass at St Micheal’s Church in Àird Choinnich featured the harmonious voices of Guthan an Iar, and the symposium was brought to an end at a contemplative service at the Church of Scotland in Howmore Church.

There was excellent attendance at the largely Gaelic-medium lectures, held in Sgoil an Ìochdair over a two-day period. Attendees enjoyed learning about the genius required to compose 13th to 17th century classical Gaelic verse from Dr Sìm Innes, who spoke about Muireadhach Albanach, the progenitor of the Clann Mhuirich bards.

Dr Ùisdean Cheape spoke of the lineage’s twilight, with accounts of the steady disintegration of the family’s ancient library, once consisting of seven cartloads of manuscripts, as well as tales of MacMhuirich Mòr, a sorcerer known in local oral tradition. Both morning lectures were followed by Ailean Dòmhnallach bringing the MacMhuirich poetry to life through song.

Iseabail Dhòmhnallach, who can trace her sloinneadh back to the 13th century Muireadhach Albanach, also presented a charming presentation on the living MacMhuirichs – those who were known, and are fondly remembered, by the local population.

Baile Dhreumasdail

Evening events included the ever-popular symposium quiz, a piping recital starring Brìghde Chaimbeul and Seonaidh Mac an t-Saoir – himself a Currie descendent, and the Cèilidh Mòr, ably presented by the symposium stalwart and BBC radio personality Mòrag Dhòmhnallach.

In tandem with the symposium, Ceòlas ran its second Gaelic immersion course in July, attended by both residents and teachers training for Gaelic-medium education. Students not only received class-based learning, but also had the opportunity to interact with Uist’s Gaelic-speaking community while strolling through the townships, at cèilidhs, and out cockling on the Fadhail a Deas.

The symposium was supported through Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, HIE and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Baile nam Bàrd, Stadhlaigearraidh

An Cèilidh Mòr
[:gd]B’ e Clann ’ic Mhuirich, teaghlach bhàrd clasaigeach a dh’fhan ann an Stadhlaigearraidh agus Dreumasdal eadar an 16mh agus an 19mh linn, cuspair symposium coimhearsnachd Ceòlas Uibhist airson 2017. Nochd tòrr mòr às a’ choimhearsnachd aig an tachartas thar ceithir latha, cho math ris an dà ollamh, Dr Sìm Innes, Oilthigh Ghlaschu, Dr Ùisdean Cheape, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, am pìobaire agus seinneadair Ailean Dòmhnallach, agus eòlaichean ionadail.

Dh’fhosgail an symposium le taisbeanadh dhealbhan, chuimhneachan agus ealain, ann an Taigh-cèilidh Ghèirinis. Thugadh muinntir an dà bhaile stuth a-steach agus thàinig deagh chuid bho Uibhistich air tìr-mòr. Bidh an taisbeanadh fosgailte dhan t-17mh latha den Lùnastal, eadar 12f-6f.

Taisbeanadh nam bailtean, Taigh-cèilidh Ghèirinis

Bha an Aifreann bhliadhna ann an Eaglais Naoimh Mìcheal ann an Àird Choinnich, far an robh Guthan an Iar na chòisir, agus thugadh an symposium gu crìoch aig seirbheis mheòmhrachail ann an Eaglais Thobh’ Mòr.

Bha tòrr an làthair aig na h-òraidean, a chaidh an cumail sa Ghàidhlig ann an Sgoil an Ìochdair thairis air dà latha. Dh’ionnsaich an luchd-èisteachd bhon Dr Sìm Innes mu na h-àrd-chomasan inntinn a dh’fheumadh ann an dèanamh bàrdachd Ghàidhlig chlasaigeach bhon 13mh dhan t-17mh linn, agus e bruidhinn mu Mhuireadhach Albanach, a thòisich Clann Mhuirich.

Bhruidhinn Dr Ùisdean Cheape air crìonadh an t-sliochd bhàrdail, le cunntasan air nuair a leigeadh an leabharlann àrsaidh de chraicinn – a lìonadh seachd cairtean – mu sgaoil, agus le sgeulachdan de MhacMhuirich Mòr, draoidh a dh’aithnichear ann am beul-aithris na sgìre. Chaidh an dà òraid a leantail le seinn shùrdail Ailein Dhòmhnallaich agus e a’ taisbeanadh òrain Chloinn Mhuirich.

Baile Dhreumasdail

Rinn Iseabail Dhòmhnallach, a shloinneas i fhèin bho Mhuireadhach Albanach às an 13mh linn, taisbeanadh ro-laghach mu Chloinn Mhuirich an latha an-diugh ann an Uibhist, agus bha deagh chuimhe bhlàth aig an luchd-èisteachd air an fheadhainn air an do bhruidhinn Iseabail.

Air an oidhche, bha farpais-cheist, cuirm phìobaireachd le Brìghde Aonghais Phàdruig Chaimbeul agus Seonaidh Mac an t-Saoir – e fhèin de Chloinn Mhuirich, agus an Cèilidh Mòr, gu comasach air a lìbhrigeadh le tè tha tric a’ tàthaich na symposium, Mòrag Alasdair Mhòir Dhòmhnallach.

Cuide ris an t-symposium, bha an dàrna cùrsa bogaidh Gàidhlig a tha Ceòlas air ruith san Iuchar ga dhèanamh, agus muinntir na sgìre agus tìdsearan an ceann trèanadh foghlaim Ghàidhlig na lùib. Fhuair oileanaich deagh chothrom a bhith a’ leasachadh an cuid sgilean, chan ann a-mhàin san t-seòmair-chlas ach cuideachd am measg na coimhearsnachd Gàidhlig air cuairtean, cèilidhean agus a’ togail shrùban air an Fhadhail a Deas.

Bha an symposium a’ faighinn taic bho Alba Chruthachail, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, HIE agus Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Baile nam Bàrd, Stadhlaigearraidh

An Cèilidh Mòr
[:]