The Island of Skye is celebrated for Gaelic songs. Naturally, many concern the sea: sailors, voyages, fishing. There is also a rich Gaelic vocabulary describing coasts and the sea, such as fideach (saltings) or bogha (tidal reef). And of course there are countless names for the animals, birds, fishes, and plants found there, for example a score of words for different seaweeds, from feamainn chìreanach to bragaire. This vocabulary also appears in hundreds of local place-names attesting how islanders made daily use of, and so knew intimately, the shores, beaches, bays, straits, and seas around them.
Unfortunately, among young Gaelic-speakers this knowledge and culture are not as strong today. Many songs are no longer sung. Whole segments of Gaelic terminology are nearly forgotten. A gap is opening up between young people and their history, culture, and environment. With Reòthart, we hope to begin bridging that gap in our own community.