Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Cairn Strathspey

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE CAIRN STRATHSPEY (S4x32) 4C set Roy Goldring

1- 8 1s+2s and 3s+4s dance RH across opening out to circle 8H round ½ way ending 4321 on opposite sides
9-12 4L+3L also 2L+1L dance between partners, divide and dance back to end Ladies facing each other for reel of 4 on side (Mens)
13-16 Ladies dance ½ reel of 4
17-24 Men repeat bars 9-16 passing between Ladies who are not their partners
25-32 1s cross RH and cast to 4th place while 2s+3s+4s set and cross up RH, all turn 2H once round

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

A cairn is a manmade pile of stones, often in a conical form. They are usually found in uplands, on moorland, on mountaintops or near waterways.

The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn.

In modern times, cairns are often erected as landmarks, a use they have had since ancient times. However, since prehistory, they have also been built and used as burial monuments; for defense and hunting; for ceremonial purposes, sometimes relating to astronomy; to locate buried items, such as caches of food or objects; and to mark trails, among other purposes.

In Scotland, it is traditional to carry a stone up from the bottom of a hill to place on a cairn at its top. In such a fashion, cairns would grow ever larger.

An old Scottish Gaelic blessing is Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn, "I'll put a stone on your stone". In Highland folklore it is recounted that before Highland clans fought in a battle, each man would place a stone in a pile. Those who survived the battle returned and removed a stone from the pile. The stones that remained were built into a cairn to honour the dead.

A Cairn Marking A Mountain Peak

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Cairn article on Wikipedia.

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