Celtic Guide, Vol.3:1 (2014)

Isle of Skye from a 17th century map

Introduction: For many hundreds of years Skye remained an island isolated from the rest of Scotland. It did not exist in a complete vacuum, as it was settled by both Celts and Norse, and probably by the Picts before them. There were always comings and goings by way of ships and boats from the mainland and abroad. Due to this sea access, Skye became a Viking hot spot, like so many of the other Scottish Isles. Its isolation became more pronounced toward the Industrial Revolution. As mechanized farming equipment, railroads, and eventually motorways became the norm across mainland Britain, residents of Skye continued using traditional farming methods and modes of transport. It is no wonder, then, that fairy lore lingered on after it had begun to erode elsewhere.

Life moved at a slower pace in Skye, and stories of fairies continued to be passed on orally. Storytelling is, after all, a form of entertainment that comes with no technology necessary. Author Mary Julia MacCulloch recorded some folklore during her time in Skye, which was published in the journal Folklore in 1922. She says that nearly all of her stories were collected in and around the village of Portree. Yet, when it comes to Skye, the location of her interviews made little difference. She explains that the island was a tight knit community, and the inhabitants were a hardy breed of folk. It was not uncommon to see an elderly woman walking twenty-six miles just to attend mass. Many inhabitants belonged to parishes at distances quite far from where they lived. So, it seems that these people, who were so used to hard work, thought nothing of traversing their island on foot. As such, stories would have travelled throughout the island with ease.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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