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Culture

The Highlands and Islands derive their culture mainly from Celtic roots. The Celts gave the region its literature, its oral traditions, its song and dance, its arts and crafts. The language of the Celts, Gaelic, underpinned it all.

The Gaelic language
Historically, the region's indigenous language, and one of Europe's oldest, Gaelic was spoken as far east as Braemar in Aberdeenshire and Glen Shee in Perthshire. By the 20th century, however, it had gone into serious decline. Many of the young folk, while understanding the language, preferred to speak in English. Gradually English replaced Gaelic as the language in the home. Gaelic was to lose ground to English even in localities that were once strongholds of the language.

But a revival in all things Gaelic has taken place over the last few decades. The Scottish Parliament has recently granted the language official status. In schools, Gaelic-medium teaching is being introduced. At last progress is being made towards re-establishing it as a national language.

Celtic culture
Connected closely with renewed interest in Gaelic is an upsurge in interest in Celtic culture. The richness of Celtic culture is amply displayed in its music, song, poetry, oral tradition, visual arts and crafts. Nor is it stuck in the past; new developments are taking place in Celtic music, art and literature which few could have dreamt of a few years back. The media, too, are helping to promote it.

Looking to the future
Recent developments have certainly boosted the Gaelic language. While there is still a long way to go, prospects are looking much brighter for the rich and ancient culture of the Highlands & Islands than it did a few years back.




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BIBLIOGRAPHY

If a book listed in the bibliography below is available from the Highland Libraries it will be indicated by a book icon - Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

MacInnes, Allan I.
Clanship, Commerce and the House of Stuart, 1603-1788 Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue


The Celtic Connection Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue
pp 101-30 MacInnes, J.,'The Scottish Gaelic Language'

Thomson, D
The Companion to Gaelic Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Thomson, D.
An Introduction to Gaelic Poetry Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Grimble, I.
The Future of the Highlands Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Withers, Charles W. J.
Gaelic in Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Withers, Charles W. J.
Gaelic Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Cameron, Ewan
Land for the People? Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue


Modern Scottish history, 1707 to the present Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue
vol 2 - E. A. Cameron, 'The Highlands since 1850'

Clyde, R.
From Rebel to Hero Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Cowan, Edward J.
Alba Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Dodgshon, Robert A
From chiefs to landlords Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Grimble, I.
Clans and Chiefs Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Grimble, I.
Highland Man Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Grant, I.F., Cheape, Hugh
Periods in Highland History Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Hunter, James
Last of the Free Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue


Studies in the History of Dalriada Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Devine, T. M.
Clanship to Crofter's War Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Kermack, W R
The Scottish Highlands Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

McDonald, R. Andrew
The Kingdom of the Isles Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Inverness Field Club
The Dark Ages in the Highlands Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Newton, Michael
A Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Richards, Eric
The Highland Clearances Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Inverness Field Club
The Middle Ages in the Highlands Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Womack, Peter
Improvement and Romance: Constructing the Myth of the Highlands
London, 1989

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