October 06, 2016

Immersion Trip: Day 2

Our students have been divided into 4 clans: McLaren, Gordon, Anderson & Campbell and tomorrow they will be throwing the Stone, the Shot, the Heavy Ball and the Hammer. They’re warming up and getting ready for the famous tug o’ war.
Check in tomorrow to discover who the winner is!
A bit of History about the Clan system…
Clans dominated the highlands of Scotland as well as other areas which at the time were remote from the centres of Scottish life and government. They were forged out of different tribes based on family ties. The word clan comes from the gaelic "clann", which means children or descendants. There would always be a clan chief, who took on the responsibility of looking after the people in his area. 
The chief and his children would be the most important figures, but many other clansmen were not blood relations. They would simply be people who lived locally and looked to him for protection. Nevertheless, the clan ties and loyalty were extremely strong - in the case of the Lordship of the isles for instance, the Clan Donald effectively established its own kingdom, with only tenuous ties to the rest of Scotland. 
Most Highlanders would have felt allegiance to their clan first and their country second. They believed in it so much that they were prepared to die for it - which is just as well, because that's often exactly what happened. 

The whole history of the clan system is characterized by feuds, and the chief had to be able to call on his people to serve in his army when he needed them. Clans weren't particularly sophisticated societies, but they worked well enough. The chief was the undisputed ruler, and all his people would have genuine affection for him and trust him implicitly. 

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