The Highland GamesCategory: Sport
Tossing the Caber, Putting the Weight, Throwing the Hammer, Dancing and Piping. Several Events Take Place at the Same Time. The Origin of the Highland Games
Scottish Highland Games, at which sports (including tossing the caber, putting the weight and throwing the hammer), dancing and piping competitions take place, attract large numbers of spectators from all over the world.
These meetings are held every year in different places in the Scottish Highlands. They include the clans led by their pipers, dressed in their kilts, tartan plaids, and plumed bonnets, who march round the arena.
The features common to Highland Games are bagpipe and Highland dancing competitions and the performance of heavy athletic events — some of which, such as tossing the caber, are Highland in origin. All competitors wear Highland dress, as do most of the judges. The games take place in a large roped-off arena. Several events take place at the same time: pipers and dancers perform on a platform; athletes toss the caber, put the weight, throw the hammer, and wrestle. There is also a competition for the best-dressed Highlander.
Highland dancing is performed to bagpipe music, by men and women, such as the Sword Dance and the Reel.
No one knows exactly when the men of the Highlands first gathered to wrestle, toss cabers, throw hammers, put weights, dance and play music. The Games reflected the tough life of the early Scots. Muscle- power was their means of livelihood—handling timber, lifting rocks to build houses, hunting. From such activities have developed the contests of tossing the caber, putting the weight and throwing the hammer. Tossing the caber originated among woodmen who wanted to cast their logs into the deepest part of a river.
Tossing the caber is not a question of who can throw it farthest. For a perfect throw the caber must land in the 12-o’clock position after being thrown in a vertical semicircle. The caber is a very heavy and long log.