Planet Fidhle (David Attenborough 1 – Taransay 2006)

Planet Fidhle
(David Attenborough 1 – Taransay 2006)

And so here we are among the remote community of Tar-nan-say – a tribe of fidhlers so primitive that they still communicate using carved pieces of wood attached to their chins.  We have an example here – (shows a fiddle)

In order to communicate, they scrape lumps of horse hair across the strings
(- demonstrates making screeching sound)

There are lots of communication patterns – sometimes one person on their own will communicate – perhaps to a deity perhaps to themselves. Sometimes this is done in a field away from the other fidhlers. Sometimes, during a “sesh-un” everyone plays at once. This process seems to be very difficult for the fidhlers.

Sometimes the fidhlers huddle around in small groups with a wise tribal elder called a “tew-tor”, who seems to carry the old knowledge called “tewns”

Some of the elders can be described. Dow-lann (the “one of the chairs”) is a mystical figure who floats around the island and is talked about with hushed reverence.

The “Wooden One” is known for sending parcels to distant lands.

The “Kenny One” wears pink tee-shirts and quietly gets things done.

“Wheelie Markree” is a very distinguished elder who has the ability to carry people over water to foreign lands (he uses a special craft known as the Wilmac Ferry) He often makes prophecies in words of four letters. We have observed him become impatient with people who fail to honour his status.

Thene we have the Sisterly Ones – Eesable and Karthrin. People come and pay homage to them three times a day and leave with food to eat. They are often brought to their place in a chariot.

Another tribe are the 4 legged “woollies” who sometimes invade the fidhlers territory and leave mementoes.

Author: dmorrison

Dolan Morrison is Chairman of Fidhleirean Eilean an Fhraoich and the first point of contact for anybody interested in coming to Taransay Fiddle Camp.

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