An Dotair Bàn – Duine Eagalach neo Adhartach?

Bidh Shona NicIllfhialain, oifigear Pròiseact Dualchas Conaltraidh Dhidseatach aig Museum nan Eilean, a’ stiùireadh an ath sheisean de Òraidichean Coimhearsnachd Ghàidhlig LCC UHI air Diciadain 28mh Giblean. Bidh i a’ deasbad air an Dr Alasdair MacLeòid, “dreach sònraichte Uibhist a Deas de Burke is Hare!”. Na bloga, tha i gar cur an aithne don Dr MacLeòid agus na sgeulachdan a tha ga chuairteachadh …………

Chaidh mise mo thogail ann an Uibhist a Deas far a bhithinn ag èisteachd ri seann sgeulachdan, air innse ann a Gàidhlig, agus gu math tric bhithinn a’ smaoineachadh an robh iad fior neo dìreach a dhèanamh suas. ‘S ann nuair a thoiseach mi air a’ chùrsa BA Hons ann an Cultar aig UHI a thug orm na sgeulachdan seo a’ rannsachadh.

Aon sgeulachd a bha daonnan nam chuimhne ‘se sgeulachd An Dotair Bàn neo Dr. Alasdair MacLeòid, sgeulachd a bha coltach ri sgeulachd Burke agus Hare. Bha an sgeulachd a chaidh innse dhomhsa a’ toirt a-staigh pocannan mòra trom ga ghiùlain gu Taigh Mhòr Bhaghasdal agus an fhear a bha a’ toirt na pocannan sin chun an taigh, a’ faighinn a-mach dè bh’ unnta – cuirp airson agus gun urrain an dotair deuchainnean a dhèanamh orra.

Nuair a bha mi òg, bha an sgeulachd seo a’ toirt an eagal orm! Rinn mi suas m’ inntinn mo thràchdas a dhèanamh air an Dotair Bàn gus barrachd fhaighinn a-mach mun duine agus an robh e cho eagalach sin.

Fhuair mi tòrr a bharrachd sgeulachdan mu dheidhinn gu h-àraidh bho Uibhist a Deas is Tuath agus an t-Eilean Sgitheanach. ‘Se Lìghiche agus factar a bh’ ann le uidh aige ann an diofar cuspairean. Ged a tha an tràchdas fhèin a’ toirt sùil nas mionaideach air na sgeulachdan a Uibhist a Deas, bha gu leòr eile ann. 

‘Se duine inntinneach a bh’ ann agus bha feadhainn ga mholadh agus feadhainn eile ga chàineadh. Faodaidh sibh pèin ar inntinn a dhèanamh suas nuair a chluinneas sibh na sgeulachdan.

Gus tuilleadh fhaighinn a-mach mun duine bheò-ghlacmhor seo agus mu rannsachadh Seòna, thigibh chun na h-òraid bheò aice air Diciadain 28mh Giblean aig 7f a bhios beò air duilleag Facebook LCC UHI - https://fb.me/e/1fMvdDfwM

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­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Shona MacLennan, Digital Engagement Heritage Project officer at Museum nan Eilean, will be leading the latest in LCC UHI’s Gaelic Community Lecturers on Wednesday 28th of April. She will be discussing Dr Alexander MacLeod, “South Uist’s own version of Burke and Hare!”. In her blog she introduces us to Dr Macleod and the stories that surround him…………

Growing up in South Uist, we would hear many stories, told in Gaelic and I often wondered whether they were true or just made up to pass the time in winter. It was only once I started studying the BA Hons Cultural Studies at UHI that I really started researching the stories I grew up with.

The one that stuck out most in my memory was the one about An Dotair Bàn or Dr Alexander MacLeod, South Uist’s own version of Burke and Hare! The story as I was told it included big heavy sacks being delivered to the Doctor at Kilbride House and the deliverer finding out what was inside them – dead bodies that the doctor would experiment on!

The thought was a little bit gruesome and when you are younger, it did frighten us a little! I decide for my dissertation that I would find out more about this man and find out if he really was as scary as I had thought.

What I found was many stories about the man from Skye, North Uist and South Uist. He was a surgeon and factor with many different interests. The dissertation I went on to write focused mainly on the stories from South Uist but there were plenty others.

For me, he was an interesting character to research with many praising him and many others criticising him but I will leave the audience to decide for themselves once they hear the stories.

To find out more about this fascinating man and Shona’s research join her live lecture on Wednesday 28th of April at 7pm Live on LCC UHI’s Facebook page - https://fb.me/e/1fMvdDfwM

 

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