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Mary MacLeod's plaint

Mary MacLeod's plaint

Image size: 138mm x 138mm approx.
Print only: £10 (plus £3 p&p within the UK)

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Mary MacLeod ( c.1615 - 1705 ) was born in Rodel on the Isle of Harris. She came to Dunvegan Castle on Skye to nurse the family of the MacLeod of MacLeod, the clan chief. As was the tradition, she wrote songs and poetic verses in honour and praise of her employer and other clan chiefs of the region, such as the Macdonalds of Sleat, Mackenzies of Applecross and the MacLeods of Raasay.

It is said that she continued to order the chief around when he was an adult which resulted in her being banished for a time to the Isle of Mull. This plaint or sad song expressing her longing to return to Dunvegan convinced him to allow her to return as long as she ceased her meddling. Of course she complied . . . for a while.

The ribbon of the text starts at the upper left centre and makes 3 full turns like the dancer wheeling across the floor in an open celtic knot design.

'In his great house I have been joyful,
dancing merry on a wide floor,
the fiddle playing to put me to sleep,
the pipe playing to wake me in the morning.
Bear my greeting to Dunvegan hoireann o.'