Kilts are the most notorious thing of Celtic culture, the butt but of Scottish jokes and make women weep with joy when a handsome kilted man meets a stiff breeze. Today I had high hopes of tackling the history of the kilt as well as the importance of clan tartans and when they really became a symbol of clan allegiance. But then I realized that a picture is worth a thousand words. So first some photos.
|Rugby players warming their hands.|
|A modern day clan chief.|
|The luscious Gerard Butler catching a breeze.|
An interesting tidbit of information that I want to pass along regarding the tartan (clan plaid) is that it wasn't until some time in the 1800's that they became a symbol of a particular clan. We've all heard the stories of the local weavers weaving with the wool and local dies (plants native to their particular region of Scotland) and it's those colors that eventually became distinguishing features of the people that resided in those regions (not necessarily a clan). A great overview of the history of the tartan is at Wikipedia. Here's an excerpt:
The Dress Act of 1746 attempted to bring the warrior clans under government control by banning the tartan and other aspects of Gaelic culture. When the law was repealed in 1782, it was no longer ordinary Highland dress, but was adopted instead as the symbolic national dress of Scotland. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the highland tartans were associated with regions or districts, rather than by any specific clan. This was because tartan designs were produced by local weavers for local tastes and would tend to make use of the natural dyes available in that area. The patterns were simply different regional checked-cloth patterns, where of the tartans most to one's liking - in the same way as people nowadays choose what colours and patterns they prefer in their clothing. Thus, it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that specific tartans became associated with Scottish clans or Scottish families, or simply institutions who are (or wish to be seen as) associated in some way with a Scottish heritage.
|The earliest image of Scottish soldiers wearing tartan, from a woodcut c.1631[note 3]|
|Sean Connery looking debonaire.|
|Liam looking every bit the Rob Roy part.|
And one final eye candy - a William Lawson's Scotch commercial. Rain, horses, hot men and kilts, need I say more?