Welcome to the Online Clann Tartan Newsletter for November 2008


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Announcements

It's coming up to that time of the year again!

That's right -- the staff elections are right around the corner on Saturday, November 1st, 2008, so it's time now to start thinking about running if you're interested, and voting regardless. Some quick answers to questions you may have:

Who is eligible to vote? Anyone who is a paid member and is recognized by at least one member of the Staff and one member of the Board can vote. There will be absentee ballots (but not proxy ballots--this is to follow the Bylaws), but they won't be anonymous--we need to verify you are a current member, so your name will have to be on it. Better still, attend the Quarterly members meeting and vote in person!

What am I voting for? We will be electing a Chief of Staff. The CoS is the top dog -- the head honcho, who oversees all of the staff. It's mostly a coordinator position -- make sure that things are done, and the work is divided equitably.

Because our Captain has left us for graduate school, we will be electing a new Captain to fill the unexpired portion of her term. The Captain, like the Head Campfollower, reports directly to the CoS, and and with the HCF is responsible for making sure that shows run smoothly--scheduling the demos, buying and making sure the food is prepared, and many other duties. The final positions are staff--they report directly to the Captain and HCF, and perform the duties assigned to them. We don't have a set number of these--it depends on who is interested.

How do I find out more information? There are a few ways -- the manual is one of them, the best way is to talk to a current or former staff person and find out what is involved. All your staff members are listed in the newsletter.

How do I get nominated? There are a few ways:

How much time is involved? There are monthly staff meetings of 1-2 hours duration, plus all the prep time getting ready for shows. With everyone helping, your time commitment can be smaller. The CoS, HCF, and Captain usually also attend the Board meetings monthly which are usually about 2 hours long. As always, everyone is welcome to attend the meetings!

What if I have a question you didn't answer? Call, email or write, or show up at the meeting and ask - that's the best way!

Julie Yoder, President

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The Chief of Staff is at the end of her two-year term. This relatively new position is responsible for coordinating all aspects of both camp and company. for more information see Mia McDavid or any member of the Board.

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NEEDED: Regimental Nag No, not a horse. The regiment particularly needs a staff member who can commit to coming to every monthly staff meeting, taking notes, and making sure that people follow through on their assignments. If reminding people of things is one of your skills, please put your name in for the Staff. Thank you.

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A proposed procedure for disputes of historical fact

The Board feels the need to stipulate a procedure for resolving disputes of historical fact. A possible outline for this procedure is as follows:

In the event of dispute, invite the person you disagree with to get together and study the evidence; this is the civilized thing to do. Possibly copy the camp and company reps at this time. The other person has ten days to respond and schedule a date. At this point, *both* parties are to refrain from discussing the issue with the public, as it is officially disputed.

If the challenged party does not respond or they the meeting cannot be scheduled, issue a formal challenge. At a time X days from the challenge, papers are due from both parties, each stating their position *and giving references and citations.* The issue is still disputed and still must not be discussed with the public.

If a member misses the deadline for the papers, the *other* member is held to prevail and that side of the issue will be presented to Clann and the public. If the late person presents good reason a later filing can be negotiated.

The judges will consist of the camp rep, the company rep, and a qualified person not associated with Col. Gaffney's. After the panel has judged, the prevailing position shall be taught or, if the evidence is not strong enough for either position to prevail, we shall teach that the evidence is unclear and we are not sure of the facts.

We are an educational organization. We strive to continually improve our grasp of historical fact as supported by the best available evidence. Often, we don't have enough evidence, but when we do, evidence must prevail.

Members are encouraged to think about this issue; we will discuss it at the Members' Meeting.

Mia McDavid

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FOR SALE

Janome Embroidery Machine and Janome Sewing Machine for sale. The Embroidery Machine is 2 years old and has about 20 hours on it (I paid $1100 new). The Sewing Machine is about 6 years old and has about 200 hours on it. Both are clean and run perfectly. I've had the sewing machine serviced every couple years whether it was used or not. I'm asking $600 or best offer for both together (I'll throw in a sewing cart as well). Contact name and number is Robin Mavis, 763-647-4839 or 763-786-5026.

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GAFFNEY'S SUTLER SEEKS WARES

Our sutler, Heidi Viar, is looking for items made by members to sell at her table. We hope that, by offering a variety of interesting wares, we can encourage the public to stop, peruse, and purchase. If you are interesting in selling your spinning, knit caps or stockings, beadwork, bonework, woodwork, we will display them, watch them, accept money for them, and accept a 10% cut for Clann.

You can either bring your goods to Heidi at events, or entrust them to her beforehand. We ask that items be small and not terribly fragile if Heidi is to transport them.

Thank you for your support of Clann Tartan.

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Wanted!

Submissions for the Newsletter!
Items you can submit include research articles, character sketches, and other items pertaining to living history and Scottish Culture. Email your items in either plain text, or MS Word format to newsletter@clanntartan.org or snail mail to our postal address.
Items must be received by the 15th of each month to be considered for inclusion for the upcoming months issue. Mailed submissions will not be returned unless requested. All pertinent submissions will be considered as space permits. All research articles must reference at least three sources. Submissions are NOT edited for spelling or grammar, but may be broken in multiple parts.

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Board Minutes

Clann Tartan Board Meeting, September 16, 2008

Board Members Present: Julie Yoder, Bruce Yoder, Glenn McDavid, Betsy Bolton, Sean McCanna, Marty Byers

Staff Present: Mia McDavid, Lisa Gillstrom McCanna

Also Present: Hellen Ferguson

Minutes from the August meeting were accepted as corrected.

REPORTS:

Vice President:

The last two shows were too far away for recruiting. We will have a recruiting station at Big Island. We need more flyers, though there may be some in the sutlery.

Treasurer:

August. $400 revenue but large expenses (three shows), so it was a deficit month. However we are generally on track financially.

Trailer haulage for this year will be higher than budgeted, simply because of the new shows.

We have not had to withdraw any money from savings.

A couple points from the report on revenue and expense by show (see last month).


Secretary

Nothing has changed. [Update: Our ISP bill from DotServant has come and was paid by Glenn.]

Quartermaster

We will be returning the set of pike heads that we ordered, which were too small

No word back from the other guy who was going to make a prototype for us. Bruce will give Sean his contact information. [Update: We have heard back, the prototype was satisfactory, and we have ordered four such pike heads.

The Cook's fly has a bad upright. Mia will consult with Herb. We have spare uprights and should bring one to Big Island. [Update: This was done.]

Camp Rep

No report

Company rep

Absent, but she did tell us there was nothing to report.

Music Guild

Need to get people to learn the choruses for waulking songs. [Update: the waulking at Big Island was cancelled.]

Lisa said it might be possible for some High School students to get credit for participating if the appropriate arrangements can be worked out. This sounds good.

The Baldwin boys need to be mustered in music.

Dance Guild

We might need an alternative location for Tuesdays. Mia and Glenn will inquire at St. Mary's. Lisa also has a lead

Sword Guild

Missed an August meeting, and the September meeting was cancelled because of the trailer repacking on 9/25 at 7 PM.

Fiber Guild

Last meeting cancelled. Lots of interest, but actual attendance at meetings is down.

Historic Site

No report

Garden Guild

Some produce, but not meetings.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Big Island

Under control. No board issues. Expected attendance is high and we may have a tent shortage.

Russ Melton party—White Bear Lake

The Virginia pikes we need are at Mary's. We will want a tent, preferably a fly. Mia will contact Herb for more information.

Mankato

No Board action needed. Lunch will be provided by Jack on Thursday and Friday, and there will be a potluck Friday night.

Fargo (November)

We have heard nothing. Probably will not happen.

Quarterly meeting with staff elections

Looking for Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 AM at Corcoran Center. Alternate date Nov. 8. [Update: Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1, 1 PM at Lake Hiawatha Community Center.]

OLD BUSINESS

Manual Revision

We need to formalize the process.

Dispute Resolution Process

We have lots of ideas but need to bring something before the members. Mia has drafted a proposal and will revise it for the October Newsletter. [Update: Done]. We can discuss it with the membership at the November meeting. There was some talk of forming a history committee to deal with issues like this.

Participation in Board and Staff

There is no policy prohibiting someone from being a member of both, just concern about the workload involved during the show season.

NEW BUSINESS

Garage

Jim McGuire want his garage back, so we will need to find another location for our trailer and gear. Marty has a couple ideas. Sean will write up something for the newsletter.

Next meeting:
Tuesday, October 21, 7 PM, at Yoders'.

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Board & Staff

If you need to contact someone associated with Clann Tartan, here is where you find out how. If you are unsure who to contact, you can always email us at: info@clanntartan.org

Board Members

President Julie Yoder 612-825-4519 julieyoder@juno.com 2/08-2/10
Vice President Marty Byers 651-483-1173 / 651-261-5815. orthodoxdruid@gmail.com 2/07 - 2/09
Secretary Glenn McDavid 651-490-1842 gmcdavid@comcast.net 2/06 - 2/09
Treasurer Bruce Yoder 612-825-4519 bruceyoder@juno.com 2/08 - 2/10
Quarter Master Sean McCanna 612-532-6984 macbaird@gmail.com 2/07 - 2/09
Camp Rep. Betsy Bolton 612-619-6406 basil80@hotmail.com 2/08-2/10
Company Rep.   Cate Hesser 612-803-8432   bear@cybervalkyrie.com  2/07 - 2/09 

Staff

Chief of Staff Mia McDavid 651-490-1842 mia_mcdavid@comcast.net  11/06 - 11/08 
Head Campfollower Lisa Gilstrom 612-986-8511 anstice_demalkuth@yahoo.com 11/07 - 11/09 
Captain Maeve Kane 651-696-7498 or 952-461-4666 mollmccaine@aol.com  11/07 - 11/09 
Henchman Eric Ferguson 612.726.6364 eric@celticfringe.net 11/07 - 11/08 
Henchwoman Laura Swenson 715-684-4221 mommyco@baldwin-telecom.net 11/07 - 11/08 
Henchman Tony Rogers 339-331-0085  anthony.j.rogers@gmail.com 11/07 - 11/08 
Henchman John Debnam 952-492-5536 Mage_ironwolf@yahoo.com 11/07 - 11/08 
Henchwoman Heidi Viar 715-379-9055 Mapleaf11@yahoo.com 11/07 - 11/08 
Henchwoman Laurie Ford 952-924-9128 laurie.ford@gmail.com 11/07 - 11/08 

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Guilds

Sword Guild:

Meeting and time TBA

Contact:
Marty L. Byers
orthodoxdruid@gmail.com
651-483-1173



MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!

At the request of the multitudes, Gaffneyis is holding music meetings again.

We will sing and play music of many styles and places from our period. Bring your voice and/or your instrument(s). Neither need be period correct.

The Yoders have graciously offered to host music once a month. We will meet at their house at 4736 12th Ave S, Minneapolis, from 7 - 9pm the 4th Monday of each month.

To contact the Yoders, call 612-825-4519 or email to Julieyoder@juno.com.

To contact your Music Chair, call David at 612-378-1973 or email to baethan1630@yahoo.com

Thanks, and I look forward to making some noise with y'all!

David

We have a yahoo groups email list for the guild that we use for reminders about the meetings and topical discussions. If you want to be on the email list, request an invitation to join from Bruce at bruceyoder@juno.com.

Dance

1st & 3rd Wednesdays
Dance will meet at Lake Hiawatha Neighborhood Center, 2701 E 44th St Minneapolis.

It is at the corner of 27th Av S and E 44th Street. Both streets are one way. That block of 44th between 28th and 27th Avenues is one way westbound and that block of 27th Av between 44th and 43rd Streets is one way northbound. You must enter turning west onto 44th St from 28th Av and exit from 27th Av onto 43rd St.

Questions? call Mary at 651-699-6853 or Julie at 612-825-4519

2nd & 4th Tuesdays
Saint Christopher's Episcopal Church, 2300 N Hamline Ave. in St. Paul.

It is at the northeast corner of Highway 36 and Hamline Avenue (Hamline is between Snelling and Lexington). The church is actually encircled by the highway entrance ramp.
The Dance Guild gathers weekly from 7PM-9PM to learn and practice historic Scottish country dances.
For more information call:

Mary at 651-699-6853 or Julie at 612-825-4519

It's a great place to meet people!

We have a yahoo groups email list for the guild that we use for reminders about the meetings and topical discussions. If you want to be on the email list, request an invitation to join from Bruce at bruceyoder@juno.com.

Fiber Guild

Those who would like instruction, inspiration, or just to come out and play are welcome at the Jen McDermotts' on the Second Sunday of the month at 2:00 PM, provided there is no conflict with other Clann events. Call Jen (651-238-5427 ) or Diana Steben (651-489-2881) for more information about Fiber Guild activities, including wool spinning, weaving, and dying. Cloth, clothing and sewing as well as things like tatting, lace, knitting and embroidery will also be discussed and worked on. Feel free to bring your projects!
Please RSVP 24 hours or more in advance, to allow for planning, thanks!

Historic Site

Clann Tartan has our own historic site near Duluth MN. Dun Gowan is an ongoing project, which is the site of Gaffneyis Annual Tactical in July. We are finishing the fort and beginning the construction of a village this year. Contact David Vavreck at 612-378-1973 or baethan1630@yahoo.com for further information, or to volunteer to help.



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Articles

Sword's in the Devil's hand

The myth and the evidence

by Glenn McDavid

Being somewhat left-handed myself, I am rather interested in the "Devil's hand." While it is clear that in the tight ranks of pikemen and musketeers everyone must conform to the right-handed majority, it is less obvious to me that this would be universally applicable. In particular, as Robert Heinlein noted in his science fiction classic Glory Road, the left-handed swordsman has a natural advantage. He is quite used to the foibles of the right handed majority, but they in turn have little experience with southpaws. So I decided to look into whether there actually were left-handed swordsmen in the Clann Tartan period. An actual advantage in combat usually trumps cultural taboos.

The Gazetteer for Scotland's Overview of the Kerr family of the Scottish border notes that:

This trait [left-handedness] became a notable characteristic of the family when the naturally left-handed Sir Andrew Kerr had found it useful at the Battle of Flodden (1513) and had trained his supporters to follow suit. Several of the Kerr family homes, for example Ferniehirst Castle, are adapted for use by left-handed individuals.
Electric Scotland also has a note about the Left Handed Kerrs:
The expression "Kerr-handed" and "corry-fisted" both refer to the well-established tradition of left-handedness within the Family. This probably goes back to Andrew Kerr, father of the first Sir Thomas, who was natuarally left-handed and found it useful in battle. [....] Andrew Kerr therefore taught his sons and armed men-servants (who in accordance with custom took the family name on joining the household) to wield the sword or the Jethart Axe with the left hand, and they in turn taught their sons. The family was thus unique — certainly in Scotland and probably in the modern world — in converting natural right-handers to left-handedness, the reverse procedure being far more usual, though parents and teachers are now strongly advised against it. Ferniehirst is designed for left-handers to live in, as are several other Kerr houses. The only other well-known instance of deliberately cultivated left-handedness were the tribe of Benjamin in Ancient Israel, with a reputation in other aspects very similar to ours: "Benjamin shall raven as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey and at night he shall divide the spoils."

Turning to the Highlands, let us look at Alasdair MacColla (Alasdair Mac Colla Chiotaigh Mac Domhnaill ("Alasdair the son of Colla the Left-handed MacDonald"), c. 1610-1647), sometimes considered the last great pan-Gaelic warrior. According to Alasdair MacColla, son of Coll:

Alasdair MacColla's father, Coll Ciotach, was one of a long line of powerful Gaels in Clan Donald. A Hiberno-Scot MacDonnell on his father's side and an O'Cahan on his mother's side, he was forced into exile to the Isle of Colonsay as an infant, by the political machinations of the MacDonnells of Dunluce. Like most Gaels of the time, his second name was not a surname, but a description of lineage or some outstanding feature of appearance or character. The Gaelic word ciotach (pronounced keetoch) in this application denoted ambidextrousness. A feature Alasdair shared with his father (particularly relating to swordsmanship). MacColla simply means son of Coll.
There seems to be some confusion about whether Coll Ciotach was ambidextrous or fully left-handed, but that is not particularly significant for this discussion.

In 1642:

According to tradition, Alasdair had been invited by [Sir Duncan Campbell, Lord] Auchinbreck to a banquet at Dunluce. A messenger, mistaking Alasdair for Auchinbreck, delivered a note to Alasdair intended for Auchinbreck. The note instructed Auchinbreck, on Argyll's order, to kill Alasdair while he was unarmed and feasting. Knowing this, Alasdair appeared at the feast with his men armed. Confronting Auchinbreck, Alasdair refused to surrender his sword (as was customary under the Gaelic law of hospitality). Auchinbreck asked him why he would not surrender his sword. Alasdair replied, because it is the strongest hand in Ireland. Auchinbreck then asked what the next strongest hand was. Demonstrating his family's reputation for ambidextrousness, he transferred the sword to his left hand. He then revealed his knowledge of the plot against his life and fled with his men.

We can also look at the Penicuik sketches, eyewitness drawings from the Culloden campaign. This is long after the Clann Tartan period, but still relevant; culturally the 17th century did not end in the Highlands until 1746 (see Grant and Cheape). Several of these are reproduced in Stuart Reid's The Scottish Jacobite Army including:


"Shitarlock the Younger"—perhaps McGhie of Sherlock.



Alexander MacDonald of Keppoch. Chief of his clan.


On the left is Angus McDonnell, second son of the chief of Glengarry.


It is interesting that we have a prominent MacDonald lefty in the 1640's, and a century later two more high ranking southpaws in other branches of the same clan.

Left-handed swordsmen were not limited to Scotland. The introduction to Pallas Armata, a 1639 arms manual, begins:

Pallas Armata: The Gentleman's Armorie; Wherein the right and genuine use of the Rapier and of the Sword, as well against the righthanded as against the left handed man is displayed:

The tone is quite matter of fact: The lefty is treated as a technical problem to be solved, not as a demonic manifestation.

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Calendar of Events

Be sure to contact your staff
if you plan on attending a show event. Try to give at least a ten day notice when possible. This allows proper planning for the feeding of our members, and in some cases is required by event organizers to allow entry as a participant.
You can call any of the staff members listed, or send an email to staff@clanntartan.org.

NOVEMBER 2008

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY

 
1
Members Meeting/
Staff Elections
Lake Hiawatha Neighborhood Center
Minneapolis. 1 PM 
2
Staff Meeting 4PM
@ McDavid's Home  
3
 
4
 
5
Dance
Lake Hiawatha
Neighborhood Center 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
Fiber Guild
@ Jen McDermott's
2:00PM 
10
 
11
Dance
Saint Christopher's
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
Dance
Lake Hiawatha
Neighborhood Center 
20
 
21
Night at the Pub 
22

Camp Drill 
23
 
24
Music@7PM Yoder's Home 
25
Dance
Saint Christopher's
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 

DECEMBER 2008

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY

 
1
 
2
 
3
Dance
Lake Hiawatha
Neighborhood Center 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
Dance
Saint Christopher's 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
Fiber Guild
@ Jen McDermott's
2:00PM 
15
 
16
Board Meeting
7:00 at Yoders 
17
Dance
Lake Hiawatha
Neighborhood Center 
18
 
19
Night at the Pub 
20
 
21
 
22
Music
7PM @
Yoder's home 
23
Dance
Saint Christopher's 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27

 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 

 

Event Schedule for the 2008 Season:

Hello all,

The following is a list of the dates of the events that are currently on the schedule for this year. The staff has met and decided to keep this running list of events in the newsletter to give you a chance to get an idea of what is going on this season as well as keep you updated to changes in the schedule.

The column titled status will include the following information.

Tentative- this means that an event organizer or Clann has expressed a strong enough interest in doing this event that it warrants reserving space on the calendar for the event.

Pending- this is the next stage of an event. This means that the Contracts Administrator has entered serious discussion about Clann doing an event but we are still not committed to the event. You should however if possible think about whether or not you may be able to attend this event.

Scheduled- this level means that the board and staff have approve the event and we are committed to providing manpower to making the event happen. When an event is assigned this level please let Julie know as soon as possible if you can or can not attend this event.

Canceled- This means that for various reasons an scheduled event has been removed from the current season. We will try and give as much notice as we can prior to canceling an event.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me regarding this matter

Thanks,
Lisa Gillstrom McCanna

DATE EVENT STATUS
1/1/2008 Airing of the Tartans
1st Footing
Finished
Feb 9-10 2008 Albert Lea Historical Faire Finished
Feb 16-17 2008 A Scottish Ramble - http://www.scottishramble.org/ Finished
3/15/2008 Celtic Festival 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Hjemkomst Center 202 1st Avenue North Moorhead Finished
Apr 5th 2008 MN Tartan Day, State Capitol, St. Paul, MN Finished
Apr 25-26 2008 Charles City Military History Days Finished
May 2-3, 2008 Siege of Woodville, Woodville WI Finished
May 17 2008 MN Scottish Fair and HG - http://www.mnscottishfair.org/ Finished
June 14-15 2008 Olde World Renaissance Faire (Twig) http://www.owrenaissancefaire.com/ Finished
Jun 21 & 22 2008 Pioneer Village Finished
July 18-20, 2008 Dun Gowan Tactical http://www.dungowan.com/ Finished
Aug 1-3 2008 White Oak Rendezvous Deer River http://www.whiteoak.org/ Finished
Aug 16-17 2008 Perham Pioneer Festival http://www.historymuseumeot.com Finished
Sep 13-14 2008 Col. Gaffneyis Muster Finished
Oct 2-5 2008 Big Island Rendezvous http://www.bigislandfestival.org/ Finished
Oct 4 2008 Defense of Bridge at Meltonville, White Bear Lake MN Finished
Oct 9-11 2008 Mankato History Fest Finished

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Maps

1st and 3rd Wednesday Dance
and November membersí meeting

Lake Hiawatha Neighborhood Center
2701 E 44th St., Minneapolis
Map to St. Paul location St. Christopher's- Dance
 
Corcoran Neighborhood Center,
3334 20th Av South, Minneapolis, MN  
Map to Marty & Judy Byers home
2821 Churchill, Roseville MN  
 
Map to Bruce and Julie Yoder's Home
Music and Board & Staff Meetings

4736 12th Ave S, Minneapolis
Map to Glenn & Mia's home
Hosts for staff meetings

340 Brooks Ave Roseville, MN 
 
Hosts for Fiber Guild
1638 Arlington Ave Saint Paul, MN 55106 

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Event Maps and Notification

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