Highland Games

Highland Games, Creative Commons image, Geograph

Scottish Highland games have become increasingly popular in Appalachia. This trend undoubtedly reflects the significant number of mountain people with Scottish or Scotch-Irish ancestry. Highland games feature contests that demand strength and endurance. They include tossing the caber (a 20-foot-long, 121-lb. pole), tossing 56-pound weights over a horizontal bar for height, and throwing 22-pound hammers for distance. Wrestling and foot races in kilts are also popular. Other festival activities include bagpipe and drum bands, tartan parades, Highland dancing, foods, and crafts. Large games take place annually at: Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; and Leesburg and Dumfries, Virginia. By romanticizing the roots of one particular ethnic group in Appalachia, Highland Games contribute to misleading images of the region’s ethnic and cultural makeup.


Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio: