The choices made at the MoI to expunge tales of hardships and issues of responsibility from its storyline, the prominence afforded the part played by Scots around the world at the Museum of Scotland which frames its Clearance narrative, or the ways in which folk material culture has been enlisted in various venues over time, underscore the cultural processes at work within the confines of the museum – be they national or local. Museums are key instruments used to communicate the essence of a place and its people, and the sifting of past evidence in the construction of narratives of the Clearances exposes the crucial importance of modern concerns. Museum narratives of the past, play a crucial part in crystallising ideas of origin, cohesion and togetherness, in giving material shape to an ‘imagined community’ (B. Anderson 1991) by instilling a sense of common experience and shared values within social groups. They are loci of expression of cultural identity, a fluid and protean concept, which can best be grasped if both the focus group of the story and context of retelling are unravelled.