Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Bratach Bàna

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

BRATACH BANA (R8x32) 3C (4C set) John Drewry Bon Accord Book

1- 8 1s turn RH and cast 1 place (2s step up); 1s dance LSh round 1st corners to 2nd place opposite side facing 2nd corners
9-16 1s dance ½ RSh reel of 3 on sides and dance ½ LSh reel of 3 across (1M with 3s at top, 1L with the 2s, LSh to 3rd corner position)
17-24 1s turn ¾ LH, turn 3rd corner (pstn) RH and pass RSh to turn 4th corner (pstn) RH ending in 2nd place own side in prom hold with 4th corner (pstn)
25-32 1s+corners promenade diagonally across (passing RSh) to diagonal opposite corner and ½ turn to end 1s in 2nd place opposite side, 1s dance ½ diagonal R&L (M up, L down). 213

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Bratach Bàna
John Drewry Bon Accord Book
Reel 8 x 32 bars 3 Couple Repeat 4 Couple Set Longwise Set

  1-4   1s turn by the right and cast;

  5-8   1s half figures of 8 (L up, M down);

  9-12 1s half reel of 3 on opposite sides;

13-16 1M3s half reel of 3 across (at top) WHILE 1L2s half reel of 3 across;

17-18 1s turn by the left;

19-20 1s turn first corners (in partners' first corners' positions) by the right;

21-24 1s pass partner by the right, turn second corners (in partners' second corners' positions) by the right and take promenade hold;

25-28 1M2L 1L3M promenade across the set (giving right shoulder) finishing 3L1L3M on Men's side, 2L1M2M on Ladies' side;

29-32 half diagonal rights and lefts, 1L diagonally down to start, 1M up.

(MAXICRIB. Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)

Dance Notes

    -24 Note that 1L should be on 3M's left in promenade hold.

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Bratach Bàna - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

"Bratach bàna" is the title of a traditional, mouth music, waulking, Gaelic song thought to originate from the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

The words are taken from the first line of the waulking song Bratach Bàna - Song, "A mhic Iarla nam bratach bàna" which means "O son of the Earl of the white banners". Literally, Bratach bàna means "of white flags" or "of white banners".

Waulking songs are Scottish folk songs, traditionally sung in the Gaelic language by women while waulking (working, fulling) cloth. This practice involved a group of people beating newly woven tweed rhythmically against a table or similar surface to soften it. Simple, beat-driven songs were used to accompany the work.

"Bratach bàna" should be pronounced as "Braht~ch bahn~" in English with stress on the first syllable of both words and the following conventions:
  "ah" is as in "shah";
  "~" represents the very short, indeterminate, vowel sound; and
  "ch" is as in "loch".
See Gaelic Dance Names for more information on Gaelic spelling and pronunciation.

It is commonly but erroneously believed that "Bratach bàna" refers to the Fairy Flag ("Bratach sith", pronounced "Braht~ch shee") which is held by the Clan MacLeod in Dunvegan Castle on Skye.

(Dance information by Reuben Freemantle)

Bratach Bàna Song - Information Video

Bratach Bàna Of Scotswomen Waulking Cloth
Detail Of An 18th Century Engraving Of Scotswomen Waulking (Fulling) Cloth, And Singing, c. 1770

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Waulking songs article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Additional search terms: Banadance.

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