Lordship of the Isles
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The people of the Lordship of the Isles refer to themselves as Gallgaels, or the Foreign Gaels, as, although Gaelic culture is dominant, almost everyone, including the leadership, has some foreign descent. The word 'gall' is used in Gaelic to describe a stranger or foreigner, and at first it may seem odd to an outsider to hear a people refer to themselves as strangers. But as you travel around the Lordship of the Isles and see the diversity yourself you will understand our reasoning.


The Gaels are the majority in the Lordship of the Isles, and just over half the population is of Gaelic descent (although many of them have some Norse blood). It is their culture that is dominant, and their language can be heard across the Lordship of the Isles.

The Gaels first arrived here around 500AD, although we may have been raiding for two hundred years before that, after thousands of years of dominance in Ireland, but in the thousand years since then we have separated into two groups - the Highland Gaels, whose language is heard in the northern part of the Lordship of the Isles and on the mainland, who are the largest single cultural group in the Lordship, and the Irish Gaels, whose language is heard in the southern part of the Lordship of the Isles. Both still have their traditional cultures, with the Highland Gaels having different clothing, traditions, hierarchy, and social structure to the Irish Gaels.

There is also a third group, the Manx Gaels. They are immigrants from the Isle of Man, but many Manx families have lived here for years and have became part of the local culture. However, in some areas the Manx tongue is still used in everyday speech.


The Norse are also a large ethnic group in the Lordship of the Isles, having settled alongside the Gael for the last few hundred years and bringing their culture with them. Many Norse have Gaelic family, and most have been Gaelicised, but others still retain their own language, gods, and architecture. In the northwest, the Norse are a majority, and in some areas their culture is dominant.

The languages spoken by the Norse are varied, and include Norwegian, Orcadian, Faroese, and Saami. However, Norwegian and Orcadian are the languages of a majority, leaving the other two, and others not mentioned, to a very small part of the overall Norse population.

The Norse have brought many things to the Lordship of the Isles, including their designs for furniture and the birlinn, and are highly respected citizens of the Gaelic state.


Although no longer a culture in their own right, there are many people whose Pictish descent is obvious, often in their dark brown hair and broad nose, and some even choose to dress in clothing that resembles that worn by the ancient Picts, who were the original inhabitants of the land.


There are Scottish families in the Lordship of the Isles, as well, drawn here by trade or cut off from the rest of Scotland when where they lived was gifted to the Macdonald dynasty. Their own culture is dominant, although they are few in number and are not often seen in the islands, even in the large towns.


The majority of people in the Lordship of the Isles are Catholic, and the leaders take great pride in the collection of holy relics held by them and their ancestors (which included the Stone of Destiny, which is supposedly the stone Jacob used as a pillow, and every one of the many hundreds of relics that were kept at the centre of the Celtic Church on the island of Iona), although do not expect this to mean we worship in the same way as Catholics in Scotland. We do not. This varies widely from place to place. In the more urban areas, there are people who include Norse and Irish styles of worship, but in other areas the religion is given an entirely new feel to it.

Many of the Catholic saints are depicted as combinations of creatures, a feature of ancient Pictish art - on the Isle of Lewis, Saint John becomes the water spirit, Seonaidh, who is given gifts much like a pagan god.

Some areas, such as St Kilda, worship both Catholic gods and nature, and combine their Sunday mass with druidic rituals. Do not be offended by this if you should see it - our people are only worshipping how they've been taught.

Some people are pagans, however, and they are mainly Norse immigrants whose ancestors brought worship of the Norse gods to the Western Isles hundreds of years ago. Other Goidelic pagans exist, although there are not many of them. Amongst them, the goddess Cailleach is most popular.

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