Nigg is a small village on the
northeast coast of Scotland
The Hill of Nigg was one of the hunting grounds of the Fions who
used to leap across the Cromarty Firth on their hunting spears
and whose race became extinct after their women and children
were all killed in a fire in Glen Garry.
The Kings Path
is said to take its name from the shipwreck of a king of Denmark. His three sons drowned and
their bodies were washed up on the shore after a great storm
after trying to rescue their sister from Balnagown Castle. One was buried at Nigg, one at
Shandwick and the third at Hillton of Cadboll. Sculptured
stones were placed at each grave.
Duncan Johnstone (above) was a prolific
composer of bagpipe music (and the saying that he had a couple
of jigs for breakfast was not far from the truth). In his
lifetime, Duncan composed over sixty tunes including Farewell to
Nigg, The Isle of Barra March, The Streaker, James McLellan's
Favourite, and the Lament for Alan my Son.
Duncan, who was a giant among pipers,
teachers, and composers of pipe music. His family came from
Barra. The Protestant reformations sweeping south through the
Hebrides in ages past never made it to Barra. While fiddles were
burned along with bagpipes (the black sticks of the devil) in
places like Skye, the traditions of piping and clarsach (harp),dance,
and other aspects of Gaelic culture lived on a little longer on
tiny Barra. It was a great loss to the piping world when he
passed away suddenly on Saturday, November 13, 1999.