Donald Sutherland’s Bagpipes
The owner of these unusual bagpipes was Donald Sutherland, a shepherd, heavy weight athlete and talented piper. From the town of Rogart, Sutherland benefitted from being part of a strong community of bagpipe players who are known to have encouraged each other.
Leaving the Highlands, Sutherland journeyed to Peru, Argentina, the USA and Australia. In America, among fellow Scottish emigrants, he honed his bagpipe making skills. As well as playing, Sutherland also composed and collected bagpipe music.
Unusually, this bagpipes set was fashioned out of parts of an old trailblazer’s wagon which had crossed to Oregon with settlers during the previous century on the 2170-mile trail from the Missouri River. The wood from the wagon’s tongue, the length that attaches the cart to the horse, along with brass fittings were used to make these pipes.
When Donald died, the pipes passed to a nephew in Rogart.
Memorialising… Neil Gunn