A History of Belonging – Scottish Clans and Their Tartans

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Scotland has a history rich with a belief in family, community and loyalty. This full sense of belonging, that seems to be very lacking in today’s society, is drawing people all around the world to discover their clan and connect with a group that has outlasted wars, poverty, and modernization and still stands united.

Clans Parade

As Scotland was settled, regions were created that had their own chief, castle and governing structure. Anyone living in the boundaries of the chief’s domain belonged to his clan. Time, battles, and politics altered borders, creating clans of several different families. Many of these families would change their names to reflect that of their clan Chief. Historically, these regions were signified by a particular tartan. By the late eighteenth century, the tartan specifically become a clan symbol. Only the clan chief could make a tartan pattern the official sign of the clan. (more…)

Scottish Weddings – Whose Tartan Is It Anyway?

Saturday, December 5th, 2009
Scottish wedding wows the crowd, Bellagio, Italy
Image by David Spender via Flickr

Much has been written, and less understood, about Scottish tartan and who should wear which tartan or indeed who is entitled to wear whatever tartan. I would like to discuss this point and give my opinion of the answer to this problem and hopefully shed a little light on the area.

The Scottish nation has been going for quite a wee while now and it has successfully spread its wings to many distant corners of the world. It still seems to have kept a lot of its traditions and especially with evenings like Burns Suppers, continues to flourish well even outside its borders; in fact some would contend it flourishes better outside its borders!! (more…)

Amazing Highland Sword Dance

Friday, September 25th, 2009
Highland Dancing Competition - Dornoch Highlan...
Image by foxypar4 via Flickr

Highland dances are an important part of a scottish tradition and rustic folklore of this land.  Scottish dances have a several ages of history and after that there are a lot of inspiring and well known stories left. Popular legends say about kings and heroic warriors, which dance a Highland Sword Dance before a great battle – when it had went right a combat was victorious, when the dance had been tenuous and the dancer had kicked the sword  it was a bad omen – the chieftain of the clan would expect to lose the battle. Now a Highland Sword Dance is a part of culture and tradition of Scotland and a lot of people practice this type activity in a dance groups around entire world. Thanks to the internet you can learn some basics even in your home. See films below and try to experience scottisch folklore by yourself: (more…)

Scottish Clans’ War Cries and Their Tartans

Friday, July 31st, 2009
"Mac Lean". A plate illustrated by R...
Image via Wikipedia

Years ago when Scottish clans fought with each others they needed special elements that would recognizable on the battle field. Each clan had its war cry that would also have psychological effect on the enemy and help to find members of the clan on the battle field. Similar purpose sometimes was connected with tartans.

* Campbell – Cruachan!
* Stewart – Creag an Sgairbh! – (“Cormorants Rock”) – to commemorate first clan castle
* Bruce – Garg’n Uair Dhuisgear – (“Fierce when rosed”)
* MacLean – Fear eil’ air son Eachainn – (“Another for Hector”) –
to commemorate heroes of legend about seven brothers that fought in the Inverkething battle (1651) and died when defending Hector MacLean
* MacLean (2) – Bas no Beatha – (“Death or Life!”) – to commemorate part of prayer of saint Columba
* MacDonald – Creagan an fhithich – (“The Rock of the Raven”) – the place of clan’s tower
* Cameron – Sons of the Hounds Come Here and Get Flesh!

And tartans (historical movie):