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Highland Heritage: Scottish Americans in the South. By Celeste Ray

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in american history, history

In Celeste Ray ‘s book : Highland Heritage : Scottish Americans in the South . The author takes a close look at what it means to be Scottish in America and more specifically , in the American South . Ray takes a scholarly approach to Scottish immigration to the South in several chapters that deal with the construction of Scottish identity , the emergence of the heritage movement in the Carolinas as well as the reemergence of the Highland Games . Ray traces the history of this movement and shows how it includes diverse threads of Scottish identity .In the [banner_entry_middle]

preface to Highland Heritage : Scottish Americans in the American South , Celeste Ray explains that she had meant to write a different book , on the archaeology of Iron Age Europe . Fortunately for the anthropology of British populations , her project changed into a richly documented , long-term , regional analysis of the southern Scottish heritage movement . Centered on the Cape Fear Valley of North Carolina home of the largest settlement of Highlanders in the United States , the study deals not only with the heritage of the approximately 20 ,000 Highlanders who settled in North Carolina before the American Revolution but also with that of subsequent waves of settlers from other Scottish regions , as well . In Ray ‘s book , she rejects the influential ideology that Euro-American ethnicity is generally in decline and that many people claim Scottish or Celtic identity , distinct from the contrasting Anglo-Saxon identity . The Scottish heritage movement celebrates the combining of historical incidents , folk memories selected traditions , and often sheer fantasy to interpret a past in a form meaningful for a particular group or individual at a particular point in time (Ray , 2000 . Ray also includes festivals deep in heritage in Scotland and the relationships between the groups of the Scottish within their homeland and in the south as well . Ray points out that half of all Scottish societies and one-third of the 200 U .S . clan gatherings and festivals are located in the South . After nine years of participating in and interviewing at community events , Ray studies the identity politics borne out in the attire , oral traditions publications , clan pride , the role of women , songs and dances , heritage dinners , game innovations and displays of weaponry . Ray is very forthright about the irony of this movement . From the situation in which American tourist dollars pay for the upkeep of castles , whose eighteenth century owners ‘ demands probably pushed Scots into leaving , while much that is regarded as traditional was invented by English landowners in the Victorian period of the 19th century . Much of this book asks for further development in more detail . Questions such as : How do movies like Braveheart and Rob Roy change the way in which this movement operates ? How will Scottish devolution affect the way in which Scotland relates to American tourists ? What will the younger generation interested in the competitive aspects of Highland games , make of it as they assume more control ? How much influence will the “Celtic fringe ” of Viking and Gaelic re-enactors have in… [banner_entry_footer]

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