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Daltachas, Fineachan agus Alba anns an t-siathamh agus an t-seachdamh linn deug

Maccoinnich, Aonghas (2010) Daltachas, Fineachan agus Alba anns an t-siathamh agus an t-seachdamh linn deug. In: Cànan & Cultur / Language & Culture. Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 4. Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, Edinburgh, pp. 37-53. ISBN 978-1-903765-86-9

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Abstract

This paper, written in Gaelic, examines the fosterage of children and the role of fosterage in strengthening the bonds of clanship, the Scottish Gaidhealtachd and in Scotland more widely during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Fosterage, by which the children of a family in a clan could be reared either within or outwith the clan as a means of building affinitym is widely known to have been a feature of clanship in Gaelic Scotland prior to the collapse of the old Highland social system in the wake of the battle of Culloden (1746). While fosterage and clanship are a commonplace in Gaelic scholarship, poetry and tradition and area also familiar to most Scottish historians who study this period, the practice of fosterage has attracted surprisingly little scholarly comment. A range of contemporary evidence is used here to inform discussion of contemporary views of the practice and its role as a mechanism within the clan unit. Some comparison and contrast is made between Highland fosterage practices and attitudes to fosterage in neighbouring communities both in Scotland and Ireland.