Each year, tens of thousands of people flock to Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, and to more than 200 other locations across the country to attend Scottish Highland Games and Gatherings. There, kilt-wearing participants compete in athletics, Highland dancing, and bagpiping, while others join clan societies in celebration of a Scottish heritage. As Celeste Ray notes, however, the Scottish affiliation that Americans claim today is a Highland Gaelic identity that did not come to characterize that nation until long after the ancestors of many Scottish Americans had left Scotland. Ray explores how Highland Scottish themes and lore merge with southern regional myths and identities to produce a unique style of commemoration and a complex sense of identity for Scottish Americans in the South. Blending the objectivity of the anthropologist with respect for the people she studies, she asks how and why we use memories of our ancestral pasts to provide a sense of identity and community in the present. In so doing, she offers an original and insightful examination of what it means to be Scottish in America.
Buy Highland Heritage book by Celeste Ray from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(235mm x 146mm x 17mm)
The University of North Carolina Press
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
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Author Biography - Celeste Ray
Celeste Ray is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.