MacNeil also describes his early years in a Gaelic-speaking rural community, where story-telling is still a basic element of community life. He explains how he learned the tales and the customs and practices associated with their telling. He also introduces us to the families and individuals who were custodians of the tales. John Shaw's introduction outlines the informant's tradition and its place in the world of the European story-teller.
Shaw provides both the Gaelic texts and English translations. When possible, he identifies both the original Gaelic storyteller and the local reciters. Reciters in the collection include Joe Neil MacNeil, a major Canadian storyteller, as well as others whose stories have never before been published. The Blue Mountains and Other Gaelic Stories from Cape Breton showcases a unique and neglected storytelling tradition.
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