Planet Fidhle (David Attenborough 2 – Taransay 2007)

Planet Fidhle
(David Attenborough 2 – Taransay 2007)

So here we are again on the remote island of Taransay with the Tar-an-say Fidhlers.

This year we have observed some of their secret ceremonies.

A-lek is the elder of the stove ceremony. Here he tries to capture the elusive “fire” and does the “ray-king” of the stove, using a long ceremonial dagger.

The regular annual ceremony of the mar-a-kee involves many of the male fidhlers. They link four totem poles with yards of canvas using long ropes. This mar-a-kee is growing each year – showing the flourishing of the tribe.

Interestingly the roof ceremony involves one of the female fidhlers. First a disc is thrown onto the rook of the stee-ding building. A female fidhler then climbs on the roof and adopts a ceremonial fidhler pose.

The fidhlers try every year to harness the magical power of the “e-lek-treek” but so far their rituals don’t impress this deity who shows his anger by withdrawing his energy at the most awkward times.

The fidhlers have developed an initiation ceremony. This elaborate ritual involves a fidhler entering a darkened room (please see the previous ceremony) removing all of their clothes and spraying themselves with freezing water.

We must pay tribute to one elder called Day-vee who was not on the island this year. He had volunteered to begin a new generation of fidhlers and was too busy with the ceremonies of the na-pee and the fee-ding to come.

It has seemed for the first time that the fidhlers use human sacrifice. Two female ca-no-ists arrived in the week and have not been seen since. We fear this may be the beginning of a very worrying trend.

An finally the most important ceremony of all. The tribal elders build a huge effigy of the Do-lan (the “Man of the Chair”) and carry it to the beach where they have lit a ceremonial fire. After chanting mystical prayers, they throw the effigy onto the fire and then cheer loudly. We believe that this ceremony is undertaken to purge “bad tunes” from their “sesh-uns”.

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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