National Geographic : 1961 Apr
Dame Flora MacLeod Leads a Pilgrimage on the Island of Skye Behind a piper, the 83-year-old chief of the Clan MacLeod sets out to honor Scotland's mas ters of the bagpipe. A wind-swept cairn on Skye marks the site of Boreraig, where the MacCrimmons, he reditary pipers to the Mac Leods, taught a celebrated pip ing college. Legend tells that the MacCrimmons got their gift of music from a fairy, and that an ancestral spirit helped one of them compose a famous air now known as "MacCrim mon's Sweetheart." Neophytes trained for seven years here to win their piper's diploma. The last MacCrimmon piper of note died in the 1820's, and Boreraig dwindled into ruin, but the MacLeods hope to re vive the college. 510 ANSCOCHROME (ABOVE) BY NANCIE VILLIERSAND KODACHROMESBY ROBERT F. SISSON © N.G.S. Both doughty Scots: Skye resident Seton Gor don, author and natural ist, and his cairn terrier Morag (Gaelic for Sar ah), the secret name by which fleeing Prince Charlie was known to his followers. Cairns won their name for an ability to squeeze into rock piles for foxes and wildcats. Dunvegan Castle, home of Dame Flora, 28th chief of the MacLeods, overlooks a clan gather ing during Skye Week. Clansmen journey from afar to attend MacLeod Day. MacLeods have lived in the castle for seven centuries. The pip er plays a lively air to encourage the hikers.