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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0887158496

From: John Giacoletti <>
Subject: War Dance
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 19:54:56 -0500


You have the true eye of a Scot. The stone fortress is not in Pennsylvania.
The $65 figure was right, except there was a one (1) after the dollar sign.
Page 44 of the Jan/Feb. THE HIGHLANDER has a color reproduction of the
print of the kilted warrior doing the Sword Dance but the setting is Ft.
Ticonderoga where the 42nd. regiment was engaged and defeated before being
regrouped with other Highland elements. Following Ft. Ticonderoga, the
combined units showed at Ft. Dusquene and then Bushy Run.

The print is colorful and dramatic. Mine is in the frame shop as we speak.
An interesting comparison is made in an accompanying sheet between the
Indian and the Highlander, and the text follows:


As The French and Indian War exploded into a world wide struggle, Great
Britain expanded its army in North America. Among the many units sent to
The Americas were three Scottish regiments; firt the 42nd Highland Regiment
and later the 77th and 78th Highland Regiments. Throughout the war,
English authorities negotiated with the Native Americans for their military
assistance. While the English were not as skilled at romancing the Native
Americans as their French counterparts, they did experience some success.
This was partlydue to the influence of the Highlanders.

Perhaps that's because the Native Americans saw in the Highlanders
something very similar... themselves! Both cultures were consummate
warriors and lovers of the fray. Their people had great respect for the
orator and Chieftain. Cland and tribe held ancient traditions in high
regard. Their similarities in temperament and philosophy did not escape
the English. They sometimes referred to the Scots as "cousins to the

Preparing for battle had itw own Highland custom ... the war dance. The
painting, "War Dance," by Robert Griffing shows a soldier of the 42nd
Highland Regiment engaged in a tradition as old as the mountains of his
homeland. The ritual takes place within the stone walls of Fort
Ticonderoga. The dancer seeks a prophecy. According to clan tradition, if
the dancer touches the sword beneath his feet during the dance, it's a
forecast of doom for the coming battle. A piper provides the tunes. An
Iroquois warrior watches...waiting for the results. An amused and
approving smile appears on the face of a tribal headsman as he keeps time
with his drum.

Native American and Highlander cultures were far removed from British
society and understanding. Sadly, the English failed to appreciate their
reverence for tradition. By the mid-eighteenth century both cultures
crumbled under the oppressive weight of England's expanding empire. Soon
all that was dear to them was lost. Their families, home, traditions, even
the sweet sound of their own language were as distant a memory as the "War


John Giacoletti

Cowan, County Down
McClay, County Tyrone &
MacLea, Argyll, Crawford,
Renfrewshire & Tyrone.

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