Odious and Peculiar

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Saturday, August 21, 2010
Och, crivens, the Omanis can spiel a pipe like ony Scotsman!

The dancing is something too! Here's much more:

Thanks to Mrs. Peculiar, who was delighted to happen upon such an Omani piper at the Santa Fe Folk Art Festival earlier this summer.

To their great credit, McCallum Bagpipes is willing to accomodate the special needs of far-flung pipers:

Two military pipe bands belonging to the Sultan of Oman, who ply their trade seated upon the backs of camels, are suffering badly for their art. Proud men, resplendent in white uniforms and seated on bedecked and braided camels, they look magnificent until they smile, when they reveal large numbers of missing teeth.

This is the inevitable result of their mounts lurching unexpectedly when they are playing, thrusting 18 inches of rigid hardwood into their mouths.

The Sultan, a lover of the pipes - he has five other more fortunate bands which are not camel-mounted - has now asked Scots craftsmen to redesign the bagpipes with a bendy blowpipe to save his musicians from injury.

McCallum Bagipes, a bagpipe manufacturer from Kilmarnock, has come up with something that flexes as the camels sway graciously across the sands. Stuart McCallum, a director of the company making the camel-

friendly pipes, said: “I was amazed when I got the request, but I designed the device using computer technology.

“It's a flexible plastic tube that bends as the camel moves and can be adjusted in length, depending on how tall the piper is. There's a padded bit on the tip as well for extra comfort.”

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