Friday, July 1, 2011

Real Men Wear Kilts

As you may know by reading my past blog entries, I have been researching my Scottish ancestral lines beginning with the Sutherland surname. My ancestors were mainly from the Caithness and Edinburgh region (now called Midlothian, I think). Scottish names are as diverse and colorful as the country they represent. 

There is so much to write about when you think of Scotland. I could write about the culture, food or whiskey, or just the people and I would probably be typing out a blog post that may be uninteresting to some of you, as it would probably be closer to a book than a blog entry. There are many web sites that I could refer you to, just on Scotland's Genealogy, but that would take all the fun out of searching and finding it yourself! 

In all truth, I haven't completed much research this week and feel like I have neglected my poor blog page. I had been trying to post daily on a variety of different topics, but not this week. In today's blog, I will be discussing some of the customs and traditions of my Scotland family. 

Scotland clothing mainly features the tartan (or plaid), which is the traditional dress of the people. Some mainlanders' may think that a man wearing a "dress" is too feminine, therefore that makes the man wearing it, also more feminine. That is certainly not the case. It has more to do with tradition and their own culture than just flouncing around in a skirt all day, every day. The kilt is worn on special occasions much like our suit and tie events that we have in the United States. The Scots mostly wear these kilts to weddings and formal gatherings. 

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Many years ago men wore one large sheet of tartan cloth over a long shirt. It was folded in such a way as to form the kilt shape as well as covering the torso and pinned at the shoulder. Have you seen the movie, Braveheart? The kilt was used as a blanket when sleeping outdoors and was easy to move around in. When formal armies were formed, a more robust garment was needed and the kilt as we know it was made.The kilt also represented their own Clan family. There were different kilts that were worn in battle a long time ago, but these were the more muted shades of the same tartan, almost like a camouflage I would imagine.

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