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Custom entitled 'Goisteachd' and 'Blood Brotherhood', 9 January 1895

Identifier: Coll-97/CW1/70

Scope and Contents

Custom written down by John Ewen MacRury, Beinn na Faoghla/Benbecula entitled 'Goisteachd' and additionally entitled 'Blood Brotherhood' by Alexander Carmichael. MacRury recalls how if two boys drew blood while playing then one would put blood on the back of the hand of the other and say 'roinn [rinn] mi goisteachd riut' and that would mean that they 'were friends in all plays henceforth', although frequently the bond was short-lived MacRury remarks 'there was something in it as the goisteachean showed a warm side to each other '"an am cruaidh chais" in time of hardship'. If blood were put by a boy onto the hand of a girl, it would signify that 'she was to be one of my of God mother'. It was common for a boy to put blood on the hand of girls that were not nice looking signifying that they woudl not have anything to do with them as their lovers. 'Nice young girls did the same on coarse wild boys'.


  • Creation: 9 January 1895

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


From the Series: 114 folios ; 14 x 20 cm

Physical Location


Physical Location

folio 36r, line 1 to folio 38r, line 9

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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