Initiation ceremony of Horseman's Word.

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Title - Initiation ceremony of Horseman's Word.
Contributors - Sandy Irvine
Reporters - Hamish Henderson

Summary - Initiation ceremony of Horseman's Word.

Sandy Irvine was initiated into the Horseman's Word at Blairfundy when aged sixteen. He thought it was just bunkum. He was blindfolded and had to take vows of secrecy. Then the men tried to frighten him by rattling chains. He wasn't couped over [knocked over] in the caff hoose [chaff house]. He wouldn't have put up with that. On the way out, the novice was supposed to shake hands with the Devil. In Sandy's case the Devil's hand was a pig's foot. He never had anything to do with the Horseman's Word thereafter.

He knew Cruikshank, and has read his book, but doesn't believe it. Sandy has never heard of the Miller's Word, but has heard the tales of the mill wheel going on its own, and doesn't believe it. The Horseman's Word used to be very strong in Sandy's area, and no one would be considered a properly qualified horseman without it. It began to go out about the time of the First World War. It was particulary strong in Glenrinnes, where the initiation ceremony involved answering a lot of questions.

Track Duration (h:m:s) - 00:06:25
Date Recorded - 1953.10
Language - Scots
Genre - Information
Collection - School of Scottish Studies

Track ID - 3401
Original Tape ID - SA1953.244
Original Track ID - SA1953.244.A8
Audio Quality - Good
Audio Format - R2R

Item Notes -

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