Brahan Seer

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Usual title for the 17th-century historical figure Kenneth MacKenzie, also known as Coinneach Odhar Fiosaiche [Sombre Kenneth of the Prophecies] and Kenneth Oaur. The Brahan Seer foretold the decline of the Highlands and the construction of the Caledonian Canal, as well as many specifics of Highland history, such as the location of cemeteries. His prophetic powers made a deep and lasting impact on the folk mind of Gaelic Scotland. Details of Kenneth's own life are not clear. He was thought to have lived either at Uig, Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, or at Loch Ussie, near the Iron Age fort at Knockfarrel, a few miles W of Dingwall, Highlands (until 1974, Ross-shire). A small museum at Rosemarkie commemorates his work. See The Prophecies of the Brahan Seer, ed. A. MacKenzie (Inverness, 1877; Stirling, 1909).

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