So was the opinion of 13th Century Viking raiders and traders regarding their southern neighbor, ‘Skotland’. “Icelanders who want to practice robbery are advised to go there,” reports recently interpreted norse saga. “But it may cost them their life.”
Well, they did come. Norsemen visited Scotland throughout the 9th – 13 Centuries on a surprisingly regular basis. They came for raiding and for trading and today Norse DNA is showing up in research in all sorts of Scots who were unaware of their very diverse beginnings.
COSCA is delighted to host the second Norse invasion coming this April 17 – 19. This time they are on their way to Historic Rural Hill outside Huntersville, North Carolina to participate in COSCA’s 4th Annual Scottish Clan & Family Caucus! As part of Friday’s Caucus Meeting two awesome Viking and Norse scholars will join us to discuss the historic Norse cultural, political and economic impact on gaelic Scotland – and vice versa. Then throughout the April 18 – 19 weekend, COSCA’s Viking Raiders & Traders Tent will be open for visitors to the Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games.
Please plan to be with us on Friday, April 17th, for the Scottish Clan & Family Caucus and then stop by COSCA’s Viking Raiders & Traders Tent on Saturday and Sunday for a taste of all things “Viking” including workshops, story telling, re-enactors and more!
Viking Representatives at this year’s Caucus:
We are very excited to see Professor Donna Heddle and Ewing Clan Commander Thor Ewing in North Carolina as they share their expertise and talents with the 4th Annual Scottish Clan & Family Caucus:
Prof Donna Heddle is Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Nordic Studies at UHI based in Kirkwall, Orkney and Scalloway, Shetland. In terms of academic achievement, her undergraduate program in Scottish Cultural Studies won a Times Higher Education Supplement award in 2005. She has also developed postgraduate programs in Highlands and Islands Literature and Culture, Orkney and Shetland Studies, and Viking Studies.
With a particular passion for locative research – looking at communities from within and how they interact – her research interests also include: Scottish and Northern Isles cultural history; small island studies; language and literature and Old Norse. She is also the author of a number of publications in these areas and is currently leading several national and international research and cultural tourism projects involving the North Atlantic rim.
Prof Heddle is also chairwoman of the Modern Languages Association (MLA) International Scottish Studies Committee and has been involved in a number of Northern Periphery Program (NPP) cultural projects involving technology and education. She has chaired six conferences, including the HIE/ Creative Scotland Old Maps and New – Where Culture and Social Enterprise Meet conference in November 2010, and is a popular keynote and invited speaker, and has 30 conference papers to her credit.
History isn’t just a series of dates and events for Thor Ewing, but the story of real people whose lives and thoughts helped shape our world. A fascination with past cultures and how they connect with us today underlies much of his work. Thor’s books and story telling help us rediscover that connection with our past, whether through the myths and religion of the Vikings, or the forgotten wisdom of the medieval Celts.
At a recent derbfine, the Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland considered the status of Clan Ewing. Lyon Court has always considered the Ewings to be a unique kinship group with all the hallmarks of a clan. Thanks largely to the leadership of Thor Ewing in the UK, along with major support from the Ewing Family Association (based in the US & COSCA Member), in 2014 the Lyon Court has officially recognized Clan Ewing as a distinct Scottish clan and Thor Ewing as its Commander. After a certain length of time, a Chief of the Clan will be appointed, and Clan Ewing will be fully (re-)established as a Scottish Clan.
Born in Putney in 1967 and brought up in south Bedfordshire, Thor moved to Durham in 1986 to study Medieval Literature. He remained in County Durham until 2004, and now lives on the Welsh border with his wife and family.