All things counter, original, spare and strange in Khujand, Tajikistan


This is a sculpture at Sabhal Mor Ostaig.  It is a bronze casting of the frame of a willow coracle like the ones Saint Columba would have used to bring Christianity to the Picts in Scotland.  Saint Columba is another one of my heroes.  He helped preserve learning in the west, and spread Celtic Christianity through the highlands and the Hebrides.  And he did it sailing a flimsy willow boat like this one.  The name of the sculpture, Crannghal means “framework of a coracle, or any skeleton-like odd contrivance” in Gaelic.

An interesting fact about the word Gaelic: when referring to the Irish dialect you pronounce it “gaylic” but when referring to the Scottish dialect you say “gallic.”


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