Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

MacDonald Of Keppoch

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

MACDONALD OF KEPPOCH (M-(S64+R64)) Sq.Set Chris Ronald RSCDS Book 49

1- 8 1s+3s dance 6 bars R&L (Men polite turns) to finish in centre BtoB with partner facing side couples (1L+2L, 1M+4M, 3L+4L, 3M+2M). All set
9-16 Reels of 4 across. Finish in line up/down with Ladies (in middle) facing, 1M facing down, 3M facing up
17-24 Reel of 4 (1L+3L pass RSh)- all pass LSh at ends, RSh in middle. Finish in original places facing partners
25-32 All set, all turn partner RH 1ΒΌ into promenade hold and dance 1 place anticlockwise.

Repeat from new positions in Strathspey then twice in Reel time back to original places

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

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MacDonald Of Keppoch - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Keppoch? Now there's a word that I have not heard before. I am reminded that there still exists an abundance of Scottish history and culture with which I am still insufficiently acquainted. What do I find? Keppoch seems to be a derivation of the Gaelic word Ceapaich, which translates simply as "a plot of land". My further findings tie Keppoch to Clan Donald, in that the MacDonalds of Keppoch earned historic renown as a branch of that clan.

It all seems to go back to one Alasdair Carragh (in Gaelic: pillar of strength), although he was more frequently known by the less salubrious surname Carrach, which means "scruffy". Alasdair seems to be closely associated with the founding of the Keppoch MacDonalds, and was a grandson of King Robert II, the first of the Stewart kings, who brought about what I have seen described in historical references as "evil consequences" and "a heritage of woe on Scotland" because of his many conjugal relationships.

They resulted in Robert siring 21 offspring who in turn were said to be responsible for numerous subsequent problems in maintaining a royal line of succession. Worth noting is that the current Chief of Keppoch challenges the accuracy of these past historic references and is in the process of having them rewritten.

All of which is to say that a history of the Keppochs is highly complex but may well be somewhat fanciful. Despite the foregoing, the MacDonalds of Keppoch were staunch supporters of Scottish independence over the centuries and spilled much blood at Bannockburn and Culloden plus a host of battles in between.

The Barry Pipes Canon 062- November, 2013.

MacDonald Of Keppoch
Mac Donald Of Keppoch, Robert Ronald McIan (1803-1856), Illustration, c. 1835
From The Highland Clans Of Scotland, 1923

Dance information from Set&Link, RSCDS Toronto Newsletter - What's In A Name? The Barry Pipes Canon 2005 - 2018, reproduced here with kind permission. Copyright Barry Pipes. All rights reserved.
Image copyright Robert Ronald McIan (1803-1856). / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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