To celebrate Latha Fhèill Brìghde (1st February), two lectures (mostly in Gaelic) will be given by Dr Dòmhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart on two of the most famous collectors in Uist: Alexander Carmichael and Marjory Kennedy-Fraser.
Dr Dòmhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart is a Senior Lecturer at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and course leader for the MSc Material Culture and Gàidhealtachd History. The two collections he will discuss are held at the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh. Dòmhnall Uilleam was closely involved with the Carmichael Watson Project and is an expert concerning the collectors of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Alexander Carmichael collecting in Uist, 1st February, 2:30pm, Sgoil an Ìochdair. Carmichael was a famous collector of folkore who compiled the renowned Carmina Gadelica, or Òrtha nan Gàidheal. Alexander collected numerous treasures from the people of South Uist where he was working as an exciseman between 1864 and 1878. Indeed, he spent several years in residence in an t-Ìochdar, and in this talk Dòmhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart will be discussing the characters Alexander met, and about the blessings, songs, and wonderful stories he heard amongst the people.
Marjory Kennedy-Fraser collecting in Uist & Èirisgeidh, 2nd February, 2pm, Talla Coimhearsnachd Èirisgeidh. In 1905, the noted singer Marjory Kennedy-Fraser came to the Outer Hebrides. In Èirisgeidh, she met Mgr Ailein, Fr Allan MacDonald – she fell in love with the island and its inhabitants. Two years later, Marjory returned to the island, this time with her daughter and a new recording instrument: the graphophone. They spent two weeks recording the people of Èirisgeidh. Although some of the recordings are slightly rough, for the first time in 100 years the people of Èirisgeidh will get to hear what Marjory collected in the island, as well as the voices of their ancestors.
As well as these two lectures, two workshops will take place in Sgoil an Ìochdair and Sgoil Dhalabroig to teach the pupils the art of making the crois Brìghde or ‘St Brigid’s Cross’, which will be taught by Màiri Wilmot.
In addition to our core sponsors, this year’s commemoration of St Brìghde’s Day (Latha Fhèill Brìghde) was supported by Creative Scotland‘s open fund.