About the Book
Island Voices is a fascinating anthology of the tales and traditions of North Mull. The subjects throughout are timeless: local belief and superstition, pastimes, work, health and cures, tales and proverbs. Takes from a broad range of sources – both written and oral – it offers a penetrating and insightful view of the island experience, from Martin Martin in the seventeenth century to the end of the Second World War, a time which saw huge changes in Gaelic society as a whole.
While many of the pieces show with devastating clarity how harsh island life has been over the centuries, they also illustrate the sharpness of phrase, shrewdness of observation and humour characteristic of the West Highlands and Islands.
Island Voices is a celebration of a people who are often excluded from the standard historical accounts of the clans and Highlands, but who have endured much and safeguarded an important heritage.
Ann MacKenzie was born in Argyll but has strong family connections to Mull, Ulva (where her father was brought up) and Lewis. After studying in Edinburgh, where she was involved in museum, photographic archive work and research, she returned to Mull to work on the Muile air Mheamhair oral history project. She is currently gathering material on the natural world in the traditions of the Highlands and Islands. Her father wrote As it Was – a best-selling account of his upbringing on Ulva.
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