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  1. #1
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    31st December 05
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    Where did the sporran come from?

    People have been asking me about the sporran. Was it used to hold oatmeal during battle? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank McGrath View Post
    People have been asking me about the sporran. Was it used to hold oatmeal during battle? Thanks.
    Google it mate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    22nd January 07
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    Early garments (including the belted plaid) didn't have pockets. As a result, pouches were necessary for storage. Some of those pouches were worn on the belt. Some of these belt pouches evolved into the modern sporran.

  4. #4
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    Contributing Tartan Historian
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    Just as David says, the sporran was and is a simple, functional item. The word "sporran" itself comes from the Gaelic for pouch or purse. And, as pockets are a relatively recent addition to Western clothing (from an historical perspective), all cultures made use of various forms of pouches to enable folks to carry whatever they needed to have on their person, be it a bit of food, money, keys, and other odds and ends.

    The distinctive style of the Highland Scots was to wear their pouches hanging in the front of the body rather than up by the hip on the side. This was being commented upon well before the kilt came about. Way back in the twelfth century, the French Benedictine Abbot, Guibert of Nogent, when describing a group of dancing devils he had seen in a vision, wrote that they wore their pouches “in the manner of the Scots, hanging forward from their haunches, as they are wont.”

    So in that regard the sporran is much older than the kilt itself!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    2nd May 10
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    Thanks Matt

    Thanks for the back story Matt.

    It's that kind of anecdotal detail that is often not available from a mere Google search, and which makes you, and this site, such a great resource for those of us not in the know.

    Regards,
    Brooke

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