A Filthy, Dirty, and Abominable Practice: A Short History of the Blackening

A Filthy, Dirty, and Abominable Practice: A Short History of the Blackening
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This talk will show how the blackening has developed through time into the ritual we see today.

With the meteoric rise in popularity of commercialised, ‘package’ hen nights, pre-nuptial rituals for women in the North of Scotland have undergone a massive change in the past thirty years. Therefore there is a pressing need to document vernacular traditions, such as the blackening, before they might be lost. The blackening is a familiar pre-wedding tradition to those living in rural parts of Aberdeenshire and beyond, but until now little has been written about it and, although it is generally thought of as an ancient tradition, little is known about its evolution. This talk will show how the blackening has developed through time into the ritual we see today.

Sheila Young has a degree in Scottish Cultural Studies/Scottish Archaeology from the University of Aberdeen. She is currently completing a PhD in Ethnology at the Elphinstone Institute. Her thesis is on the form, meaning and function of two pre-wedding rituals for women: the hen party and the blackening.

Speaker
Sheila Young, PhD Researcher
Hosted by
Cromar History Group
Venue
MacRobert Hall, Tarland