Sunday, February 24, 2013

Argyll and the Gall Gael

The society in Argyll, and parts of the west Highlands in general, was unique in the Gaelic world, because of the influence of the Norse.  The Norse settled in Argyll, they did not replace the indigenous Gaelic population, but rather they joined to it, and created a unique people called the Gall-Gael, or 'foreign Gaels.'  This unique people also had a significant cultural and technological input from Norse, specially Viking, society.  The old Scottish kingdom of Dál Riata was the epicenter of Gall-Gael society.  (also spelled Gall Gàidheil in modern Scot's Gaelic) It was this society that the Gallóglaigh and related Redshank warrior castes flourished.  Their organization and accoutrement of war was Viking in origin. 

The Gall-Gael were more Gaelic in that the Norse influence was small in numbers, and it can be said they were more a case of native Gaels going 'Viking.'   We do know that the DNA results of many Argyll families from historical Gallóglaigh and Redshanks kinships, are native Gaelic in origin.

The Gall-Gael are the subject of recent historical research.   Below is a link to an article by a young Scottish historian that address Gall Gael people and society in mid Argyll.

Link: From Dalriata to Gall-Gaidheil

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