Take 5

Celebrate Highland traditions and identity

What do we think of when we think of the Highlands? What are the objects and stories that matter? There’s so much to celebrate and explore on Museum of the Highlands, including creativity and clanship, music and even misadventures.

1) A great starting point for exploring Highland identity is with music, which has to include the clarsach or harp!

In fact, there are two on Museum of the Highlands, the beautifully decorated Poltalloch clarsach at West Highland Museum and a lovely example of a more typical clarsach from Grantown Museum.

You can explore the sound of the harp with What’s that Noise? Or there’s also an Object in Focus activity.
Poltalloch Clarsach | Museum of the Highlands
Clarsach | Museum of the Highlands
NOISE-3 | Museum of the Highlands

But we couldn’t forget the bagpipes! You can listen to a set of those too!
NOISE-2 | Museum of the Highlands

2) There’s heaps on Museum of the Highlands to help you explore clan history too.

At Grantown Museum, the outstanding example of a ring brooch, the Cromdale Brooch, will take you into the mysterious world of the Clan Chattan, a unique confederation of Highland clans that flourished from the thirteenth century. The families came together under one group for protection against threats from larger clans around them.
Cromdale Brooch | Museum of the Highlands

Or explore a carved wooden box with stag design, from Clan Mackenzie, in Gairloch Museum.
Clan Mackenzie Designed Box | Museum of the Highlands

3) One incredible story that you can’t miss concerns the ‘liberation’ of the Stone of Scone, taken from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1950.

Find out more as we focus on the character of Kay Matheson, inspired by an object from Gairloch Museum. Why is this stone a symbol of Scottish identity and where is it now? Explore it all in our interactive story.
Kay Matheson | Museum of the Highlands

4) The Highlands is also the home to an incredible variety of creative talent. Museum of the Highlands celebrates Highlands artistry and skill again and again.

From the Celtic Revival, you’ll find a wealth of objects and stories from Groam House Museum, including the hunting-design rug by George Bain and Celtic-inspired designs from the island of Iona, with everything from a tea cosy to a hair slide.
Hunting Rug | Museum of the Highlands
Iona Celtic Art Tea Cosy | Museum of the Highlands
Crescent Hair Slide by Alexander Ritchie | Museum of the Highlands

Next, explore the career of George Bain and an important commission he received on the shores of Loch Ness.
George Bain | Museum of the Highlands

5) Finally, use Highland design and craftsmanship as inspiration for a debate in our ‘Big Question’ activity. Your students can discuss, is it time to say goodbye to fast fashion?
Is it time to say goodbye to fast fashion? | Museum of the Highlands

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