Scottish Culture/Expert Profile

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Lifecycle (birth, marriage, death) customs in Scotland, Early Modern Scottish social customs, modern Scottish social customs, Border March laws and procedures, criminal processes and judicial execution practices, social history in Early Modern Scotland, ephemera printing in Scotland. While I have some knowledge of the clan system and function of the clan society (Highland and Lowland), I am not a an expert in clan genealogy. Having traced back my own family over a couple of centuries, and traced others due to academic research, I do know how the system works, however. This doesn't mean that I'm a genealogist. Please note that I do not speak Gaelic.

Experience in the area

Research Fellow (University of Edinburgh). Contributer to various books and journals on ballads, including Scottish Life and Society: A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, The Ballad and History and The Harris Repertoire. Freelance tutor in outreach courses from Edinburgh University on Scottish Culture and Tradition, including lifecycle customs, broadsheet ballads in Scotland, the traditional ballad and history. Freelance writer, guest presenter on Ch4 History Hunters programme, contributor to BBC Radio Scotland's 'Songlines' series on 'The Dowie Dens of Yarrow'. Currently co-director of a media production company


Books: Forthcoming: The Gallows and The Stake Published: Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, vol. 10, chapter on The Traditional and the Border Ballad; The Harris Repertoire (2000, Scottish Text Society, co-editor), The Ballad in History (chapter on Border ballads). Journals include Folklore, The Review of Scottish Culture,Sottish Studies, and The Scottish Literary Journal


Ph D, M. Phil, BA (hons)

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Recent Answers from Kaye McAlpine

2016-08-25 Nichol and McKenzie blazons of arms:

Hi Colleen    Thanks for that - caber feidh is Gaelic for stag's antlers (spar of the deer) and the honorific 'caberfeidh' is awarded to Mackenzie of Seaforth, the chief of the clan. It would seem that

2016-08-25 Nichol and McKenzie blazons of arms:

Hello Colleen    As this is a question and answer site, it would not be appropriate for me to search for an image of a  crest: I am sure the Nichol family has a homepage or homepages. Be aware that there

2015-04-22 Scottish symbols:

Dear Crystal    The word Celtic can mean different things to different people. As a general rule it is applied to describe the art, cultures and artefacts of a number of peoples - called the Celts -  who

2014-12-28 Definition: "Tulach Ard":

Dear Dorothy    While I watch loads of tv, I haven't watched Outlander, so forgive my ignorance. I had a quick look on IMDB and got the bare outline.  So ... Tulach ard. This is the slogan or war cry of

2014-07-08 WALKER TARTAN:

Hi Susan    That does indeed make a difference - you could align yourself with the Campbells. However, you'll need to do some digging if you're looking for accuracy, as the Campbells were (are) a large


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