Jessica White wrote :-
>I learned last year in an anthropology class that the kilt is not
>actually Scottish in origin. Actually a BRITISH lumber man who was doing
>work in Scotland in the 1840s invented the kilt in order to help the men
>who wore only very troublesome tunics.---what is the validity of this one???
There has been more rubbish written by idiots, supposedly "debunking
tartan myths", than there has been intelligent discourse. The best
and most concise book is "Tartan: The Highland Habit" written by
Hugh Cheape of the Scottish National Museum, as he uses both
artefacts AND Gaelic source materials.
One should also be aware that people mix and confuse two issues: the
tartan material of which the garment is made, and the actual form of
In short: the checkered pattern itself seems to be of great antiquity,
from both classical accounts and archeological remains -- checkered
patterns are easy to make on looms, and many different peoples have
done so (not excluseively Celts).
The form of the garment is quite old as well, possibly adapted from a
Roman model. Certainly the Gaels wore it when the Vikings were
roaving, as we get evidence in Viking Sagas about it.
The old style fe\ilidh-mo/r was made of two stretches of cloth
stitched together - the shorter, half-size kilt (feilidh-beag) as
worn commonly today was simply one roll of the cloth.
This form of the kilt was popularly worn and associated with the
Gaels as a whole well before 1745, as it is specifically referred to
in the Disarming Act of 1746. There is no solid evidence to the
claim that it was an English invention or adaptation.
Just read some 17th and 18th Gaelic poetry about the plaid before
you make up your minds!