"Lo, there do I see my Father... 
Lo, there do I see my Mother 
And my Sisters and my Brothers... 
Lo, there do I see the line 
Of my people back to the beginning...
They do bid me to take my place among them...
In the Halls of Valhalla, 
Where the Brave may live forever."

You may have heard this quote before, or possibly seen it in the movie The 13th Warrior, as it is considered somewhat of a Norse prayer. Why exactly do I start this article in this fashion? Clans MacDougall and MacDowall, with their patriarchal lineage descended from Dubhgall (Dougall), have a rich connection with the Norse, though it fades quickly after connecting back to Somerled. Having said that, Clan MacDougall honoured their Norse heritage strongly, and in multiple ways.

When you look at the MacDougall coat of arms, it is divided into quadrants, but with only two images represented. Those two images are the royal Scottish lions, symbolic of the descent from the Scottish Kings of ancient Dal Riada (the ancient name for the Kingdom of Northeastern Ireland and Western Scotland), and the Black Galleys, also known as the Black Galleys of Lorn, which symbolize the Clan's descent from the royal house of the Norse (King of Norway). Please note that this is a stylized depiction of the coat of arms.

Another factor that comes into play are the Raven flags that flew from MacDougall galleys, and the long held understanding that MacDougall galleys had a raven head at the prow, as opposed to the typical dragon head of the time. While these are only the beginnings of a connection, it should be noted that this display is more prominent than those of other Clans.

 

 

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