Bringing back the Uists’ bards

Events will be held in North and South Uist this weekend to mark the culmination of a prestigious European project which Ceòlas has been working on throughout the year.

Three researchers have been working on the European Oral Singing Tradition project and their research findings will be presented to the Uist community.

Naomi Harvey will be presenting her research on North Uist bards and poetry in Taigh Sgìre Sholais on Friday 8th November at 7.30pm. And on Monday 11th November at 7:30pm in Lochboisdale Hotel both the other researchers on the project will be presenting their research.

Jo MacDonald will present her collection of poetry from South Uist, with particular attention focused on the famous Campbell family of bards from South Lochboisdale.

And Gillebrìde MacMillan has been researching songs that were sung in Uist but have since been lost from the song repertoire of the community. These songs have been re-taught to some of the Uist community and some of these songs will be sung at the event on Monday.

Ceòlas Chairperson, Mary MacInnes said: “The research that has been carried out throughout the year has added greatly to the work of Ceòlas and also it has given something special to the Uist community.

“This project leaves us a great legacy. We have brought bards and songs back into the Uist community, the project has supported community singing and we have made many internationals links which will help Ceòlas to expand and strengthen in coming years.”

The researchers and a group from Ceòlas will then continue to an international song conference in Finland on 19th November where they will present their research and discuss songs and singing in rural communities.