Clan MacColin

Clan MacColin of Glenderry is a historical, theatrical and social organization dedicated to researching and portraying the daily life of a 16th century Hiberno-Scottish clan. For many years our major activity has been our appearance at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, where our rousing dance show and colorful marches are traditional crowd-pleasers. These activities, along with our crafts demonstrations, also contribute ethnic color to many Highland Games, Irish festivals, and similar local events where we are frequently featured by name.

Clan MacColin's "time" is the year 1572. Mary, Queen of Scots, now in prison in England, has abdicated in favor of the infant James (James VI of Scotland, who will be James I of England). Far from all this political excitement, away to the northwest of Scotland, the Clan MacColin lives on a small peninsula, where many have settled with our Scottish cousins after leaving troubled Ireland, our Chief's homeland. Thus the Clan includes many Irish, as well as many Scots, and even a few Welsh and Cornish who have joined our family over the years. Here in Scotland the Clan makes a living from the sea and from cattle-raising, and from trade in hides, leather, sea-coal and tough highland ponies. Although not professional soldiers, the Clan men and women are all battle-trained from youth, and fierce if pressed to a fight.

The 21st-century Clan MacColin is very much a family, and we attempt to maintain the ancient clan structure. Each member of Clan MacColin belongs to one of several households, all loyal to our Chief, Stiofan Ui Giollain Maccaolinn of Glennadoire (otherwise Steven Gillan), who leads the Clan, makes all final decisions, and appoints officers and others of rank. The Chief numbers among his officers and gentlepersons experts in Renaissance and Gaelic crafts, dance, costume, weaponry, and manners, as well as social and military history.

Each of our members develops a "persona" or character to portray, suitable to the household and following of a 16th-century Western Highland Chief. Each Clan member is responsible for developing his or her own costume, weapons, life story and personality. We also encourage our people to go beyond theatrically portraying our time, to research, study and learn the language, skills, and customs our personas would have known -- spinning, weaving, cooking, music, festivals, and so forth. The Clan's goal is a three-dimensional, authentic representation of our period: a piece of living history.