Shinty is a vital part of the culture and identity of the Central Highlands, but it is doubtful if many players would risk their lives for a game of Camanachd. Yet that is what one of Badenoch’s most famous figures did in the mid 18th century. After taking part on the Jacobite side in the 1745 rising, Cluny Macpherson spent nine years in hiding in the Laggan while government troops scoured the country in search of him. In 1747 or 1748, while in his cave on Creag Dubh, Cluny heard the sounds of a New Year shinty match was taking place. Fully aware that he was risking his life as there were redcoats in the vicinity, Cluny could not resist the lure of the game.
This tradition illustrates the game’s deep roots in the area and the abiding hold it has on those who play. The tale sets the scene for an account of shinty’s place in the social history of Badenoch & Strathspey. This includes a CD of poetry, music and song ”The Land where Shinty is King”
Also try The Boys of the Eilan
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