Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MacLaoch Wednesday

Rowan on a leisurely stroll through Castle Laoch. . . 

Two weeks ago I recieved a lovely email from a woman who was doing 16th century Scottish reenactments here in the US. She was thoroughly enjoying The Legend of Lady MacLaoch but had one thing she wanted to point out regarding chiefs and chieftains, something she felt was incorrectly represented in the book. I.e. - Rowan is the MacLaoch Clan's chief, not necessarily it's chieftain.

The chief of a clan as you would assume is the overarching leader of the clan, or as wikipedia (aka - the all knowing master of the universe) says:

"The clan chief is the representative of [the clan's] founder, and represents the clan as well. In the Scottish clan system, the term chief denotes a greater chief than that of a chieftain. In consequence, branch chiefs (heads of branches of a clan) are designated chieftains.[2]"

Modern chief? Check his feathers, if he has 3 he's a chief.
So with the clan chief being the head honcho and the chieftain being his sidekick (or as some websites refer, he can also be the son of the chief) it's assumed that one cannot be both. After logging it in the edits and revisions document I have going for The Legend of Lady MacLaoch it occurred to me that while this discovery still denotes some edits to be made within the book it does not affect who Rowan is. 

Gerard looking chieftain-like. Or chief?
The MacLaoch clan while they have members across the world and have a clan gathering every few years the official personnel who are elected to this intimate clan are few. For instance while a large functioning clan of the 1700's (prior to them being disbanded) would have had a clan chief they would also have had chieftains to oversee large sections of the clan lands and its people. Like the woman who contacted me said, it is much like a president/CEO of a company and his vice president. The president oversees the entire company's functions while the VP focuses on their designated division. However, in small companies - especially startups - it is common to have the president be the head of the company as well as acting vice president and even project manager and sometimes receptionist. The fictional MacLaoch clan, having suffered badly through the disbanding of the clans and the land clearings of the 1800's were reduced to their present day situation of one chief, one chieftain, and one laird, all one Rowan MacLaoch. Rowan wears many hats and while the book is written with no difference called out between chief and chieftain for the reader, it is safe to assume he is one and both. 


Anonymous said...

Gerard could probably pull off the yumminess needed for chief/chieftan.... but the photo of roan wandering the castle... that's just a fantastic image that definitely needs to happen weekly.

Becky Banks said...

LOL!Isn't that photo of Rowan awesome?? Sometimes one must take a break on the long stroll of the Castle Laoch and when you get sweaty? Just take the shirt off. :0)

. . . and the women say *amen*