The Broken Promise (1)
Going to start dismembering a 20th century oral tale from Scotland. At the moment I am trying to determine its potential date range.
Scottish oral narrative, can retain some rather archaic features. This dates in its present form no further back than the late 17th century. The start of the text displays some features which suggest the possibility of far older core.
In the first case I want to see how conservative the text is. Its performed in the 20th century but the social organization of the society and the landscape it presents seems older.
Its outlook is conservative and traditional.
Cunning men and women were village trouble shooters and problem solvers. They could locate lost or stolen goods, cure sick animals, determine inoccent or guilt in disputes and had accesses to and understanding of the supernatural realm.
Narrative is rather fast paced driven by action. Going to slow it down a bit and take it slightly out of context.
Think of the introduction to the tale as describing the potential scene of a crime (or a civil dispute involving injury).
Are the actions taken understandable given the circumstances? Is one party liable or obliged to treat the injured party?
How are these factors to be determined?
Scottish legal term relating to disputes arising from breaking a marriage contract, specifically, not following through on the promise of engagment. In terms of this story its interesting to note how the supernatural world is presented in terms of localized kin based contractual dispute. It’s an unnatural unknown realm that looks and feels very close to home.