"Tha e air a dhol don fhaochaig – He has gone to the whelk shell" – Inequality in the Land of the Gael.

Author(s): Kevin James Grant

Year: 2013

Summary

Poverty is relative. In the 17th century, Gaels of Scotland's Highlands and Islands inhabited a surprisingly equal society. Many Chiefs and most junior nobles in the clan system lived in dwellings little grander than that of the average Highlander, with equally few possessions. More importantly, all Gaels were inheritors of an ancient culture of aristocratic origin to which they had rights of access. Few individuals had much; but fewer had nothing.

During the course of the 18th and 19th centuries this position of economic and cultural equality was eroded to the extent that ordinary members of Gaelic society came to be seen as desperately poor as the upper orders of their society became more remote. As a result of this new relationship, physical hunger was coupled with an intellectual and cultural hunger. This paper aims to explore how this increasing inequality played out across the physical and cultural landscape of Gaeldom.

Cite this Record

"Tha e air a dhol don fhaochaig – He has gone to the whelk shell" – Inequality in the Land of the Gael.. Kevin James Grant. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428522)

Keywords

General
Culture Gaelic Landscape

Geographic Keywords
United Kingdom Western Europe

Temporal Keywords
17th-19th centuries

Spatial Coverage

min long: -8.158; min lat: 49.955 ; max long: 1.749; max lat: 60.722 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 409