North Berwick Pipe Band

© North Berwick Pipe Band 6 December 2019

CELTIC NATIONS

And Associated Groups


Following our recent trips to Portugal, Asturias, and even Germany I thought I would have a look at what the Celtic Nations were.


The Celtic nations are territories in western Europe where Celtic languages or cultural traits have survived.


The six territories widely considered Celtic Nations are Brittany (Breizh), Cornwall (Kernow), Wales (Cymru), Scotland (Alba), Ireland (Éire) and the Isle of Man (Mannin or Ellan Vannin), commonly referred to as the “Celtic fringe”. In each of the six nations a Celtic language is spoken: Brittonic or Brythonic languages are spoken in Brittany, Cornwall, and Wales, while Goidelic or Gaelic languages are spoken in Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man.



Alba – Scotland


Breizh  - Brittany

Cymru – Wales

Éire – Ireland

Kenow – Cornwall

Mannin or Ellan Vannin – Isle of Man


This six nation Celtic Flag combines the flags of these Nations:



Although not having a spoken Celtic language there are many areas that still have a Celtic Heritage. Parts of the northern Iberian Peninsula, namely Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias lay claim to this heritage.


Asturias – Spain


Cantabria – Spain

Galacia - Spain


This Celtic Flag includes representations of these additional Nations


These areas have a strong bagpipe or Gaitas culture.


In fact the Bagpipe, in its various forms, can be found in most nations of the world but the most common, in addition to those already mentioned are:


United Kingdom:


Northumberland


And even within Ulster the area of Ulaidh (Arranmore)

        Saltire                                              Ulster Banner

Northern Ireland




As it now has its own flag it would be remiss to exclude our home county of East Lothian:

The Rest of Europe:


France:


Even Brittany splits into various regions that consider themselves Celts:




Gallo-vannetais,

Loudéac & Penthièvre

Cornouaille  (including Pourlet & Aven)

Léon

Nantes

Rennes

Trégor



Vannetais (including Carnac & Bro Kost ar C’hoad)


Apart from Brittany forms of bagpipes can also be found in



Bournonnais

Nivernais

Morvan, and also in the regions of

Occitania, and

Gascony

Auvergne

French and Spanish Basque regions.



Basque Country

Basque Country (Spain)



Other areas of Spain including:

Catalonia

Castile

Aragon

Zamora

Pontevedra

And even on the island of Mallorca

In Portugal





the Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro Province is known for its bagpipe tradition.


In Northern Italy




Bagpipes can be heard around Bergamo


While in the Ligurian Apennines the tradition is still strong in the four Provinces of

Alessandria

Genoa

Pavia, and



Piacenza


Indeed most other European Countries have bagpipes in one form or another.


In Germany the sound of the pipes can be heard in



Bavaria, and                                  Loer Bavaria


Poland for example has at least five regions where bagpipes are still played

Lubusz

Wielkopolska

Silesia


Podhale, and                                 Zywiec


And bagpipe tunes have been sourced from




Bulgaria, and

Russia



The Rest of the World:


Variations on the bagpipe can be found on all the other continents with the probable exception of Antarctica.


Anywhere that a Celt has settled they have taken their traditions with them. Obvious examples would be


Australia

USA

New Zealand



Canada


And less obvious





Vietnam

The Solomon Islands


Other examples of specific regions would be from Nova Scotia, Canada to the Welsh speaking area of Patagonia (y Wladfa) in Argentina in South America. Had it been successful in the 1690’s the Darien Scheme’s colony of Caledonia in what is now Panama might also have seen a Scots Gaelic speaking area in Central America. Sadly this was not to be, although the area is still known as Puerto Escocés.


Nova Scotia


Y Wladfa (Welsh Patagonia)

Caledonia (the Company of Scottish Trading to Africa and the Indies)


Some of these smaller regions also see themselves as independent nations.


* Sources - Breizh Partitions (www.celticscores.com) which has a source of tunes for bagpipe music from many countries and obviously Wikipedia and other online sources.