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  1. #91
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    The original meaning of what I had said is that I see few places where a dirk would be fitting or helpful. I did not mean for this thread to get off track by mentioning a situation where something like a dirk would be a helpful tool to have.

    I understand how what I said was misunderstood as I did not go in depth.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by LKM View Post
    The original meaning of what I had said is that I see few places where a dirk would be fitting or helpful. I did not mean for this thread to get off track by mentioning a situation where something like a dirk would be a helpful tool to have.

    I understand how what I said was misunderstood as I did not go in depth.
    Yes, this thread has gone off track and has become much ado about nothing, regarding the carrying of knives. It is not unusual at Highland Games to see lots of dirks and other historic knives, as well as swords, Lochaber axes, Viking axes, etc. Unless there are local or State laws prohibiting open carry of these blades, nothing happens - or if some wise guy decides to brandish them or threaten someone with their blade which, after attending hundreds of games, I do not recall ever seeing.

    The long and the short of it is, don't bring your blades if it is prohibited by law or by the event or by the church. Otherwise, just use good judgment. As I posted earlier, I wear a dirk with day wear, at the games. I like blades, used to be a dealer and they are conversation pieces. Just do not get carried away.

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  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Searl View Post
    I'm a Canadian and I have been a member of this site for a couple of years now. Something that has always made me wonder why is, why is it so important to Americans to be armed...
    It might be veering dangerously offtopic to comment on this (and yes my post will soon get onto the dirk thing) but as an American this intrigues me just as much as it does you.

    I'm from West Virginia and the situation there is much like the situation Jock Scot describes in Britain: people who do sport hunting have the guns you use for that. The difference is that Jock Scot says a small percentage of the British population does sport hunting, while a large percentage of West Virginians do sport hunting, in particular deer hunting.

    It goes to figure: West Virginia is vast tracts of dense forest teeming with millions of deer, and very few people! So you have your deer rifle and you go hunting in deer season. Seems like everyone has a deer rifle in their house. But your deer rifle is like your saw or hammer or drill- it's a tool for a specific function. It's not a collectable, it's not a doo-dad.

    The stuff I hear all the time about "gun nuts" and people romanticizing guns etc comes from the imagination of outsiders and is foreign to my people. There are still many Appalachians who live off the land (they are Hunter-Gatherers, in truth) and to them hunting is survival.

    This all being the case, I don't wear a dirk when I'm piping because there's no purpose for it.

    As for why so many Americans, when they dress up in Scottish attire, wear historical or quasi-historical things like rough knit bonnets, Jacobite/pirate shirts, 18th century weaponry, leather bag-like sporrans, moccasins, and so forth, I can only guess that they link Scottishness with the time period in which most of our Scots arrived.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 19th June 18 at 05:33 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  6. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlisle401 View Post

    The wearing of a dirk is fine (and) appropriate for a military piper, not for anyone else.
    It's part of the uniform of not only pipers but also officers and certain others, in the former Highland regiments and now the Royal Regiment Of Scotland.

    Generally pipers wear the so-called "pipers' dirk" that lacks the knife & fork, while the Pipe Major, Drum Major, and Officers wear full dirks that include the knife and fork.

    This photo shows three grades of dirk being worn in the same military pipe band, quite interesting



    But your point is well taken, the dirk has been an unusual thing in civilian Highland Dress for over a century now.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 19th June 18 at 05:47 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  8. #95
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    I went out and purchased a dirk some years ago, the only time I've ever worn it was at a Burns Night to slay the haggis. Otherwise it sits. I would not think of wearing it for anything else.


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  10. #96
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    I really did not want to revisit this topic, but my final comment is this

    Just because you bought a dirk doesn't mean you have to wear it all the time, practice common sense, and wear it when deemed necessary, and leave it on the shelve when it is not the proper time. All this comes to is common sense. My last comment, I promise....
    Allan Collin MacDonald III
    Grandfather - Clan Donald, MacDonald (Clanranald) /MacBride, Antigonish, NS, 1791
    Grandmother - Clan Chisholm of Strathglass, West River, Antigonish, 1803
    Scottish Roots: Knoidart, Inverness, Scotland, then to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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  12. #97
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    I was surprised to see that you wrote that Officers and certain others wore dirks. I tried to remember if I had seen Officers wearing them. I served at the Scottish Infantry Training Depot and can't remember Officers carrying dirks, just claymores in No 1 and No. 2 dress. So to be certain I contacted one of my recruits, who is now a Major in the RRoS. He informed me that the Duty Officer wore a dirk in one of the old Highland Regiments, no one else besides Pipers. The RRoS does not permit illegal accessories i.e. wearing of dirks for non pipers. (his words).

    The wearing of Dirks was stopped a long time ago. The introduction of the bayonet was the cause of the dirk being removed as the Bayonet is carried on ceremonial occasions as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    It's part of the uniform of not only pipers but also officers and certain others, in the former Highland regiments and now the Royal Regiment Of Scotland.

    Generally pipers wear the so-called "pipers' dirk" that lacks the knife & fork, while the Pipe Major, Drum Major, and Officers wear full dirks that include the knife and fork.

    This photo shows three grades of dirk being worn in the same military pipe band, quite interesting



    But your point is well taken, the dirk has been an unusual thing in civilian Highland Dress for over a century now.
    Last edited by carlisle401; 19th June 18 at 10:47 AM.
    Aye Yours

    Jim

  13. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    It might be veering dangerously offtopic to comment on this (and yes my post will soon get onto the dirk thing) but as an American this intrigues me just as much as it does you.

    I'm from West Virginia and the situation there is much like the situation Jock Scot describes in Britain: people who do sport hunting have the guns you use for that. The difference is that Jock Scot says a small percentage of the British population does sport hunting, while a large percentage of West Virginians do sport hunting, in particular deer hunting.

    It goes to figure: West Virginia is vast tracts of dense forest teeming with millions of deer, and very few people! So you have your deer rifle and you go hunting in deer season. Seems like everyone has a deer rifle in their house. But your deer rifle is like your saw or hammer or drill- it's a tool for a specific function. It's not a collectable, it's not a doo-dad.

    The stuff I hear all the time about "gun nuts" and people romanticizing guns etc comes from the imagination of outsiders and is foreign to my people. There are still many Appalachians who live off the land (they are Hunter-Gatherers, in truth) and to them hunting is survival.

    This all being the case, I don't wear a dirk when I'm piping because there's no purpose for it.

    As for why so many Americans, when they dress up in Scottish attire, wear historical or quasi-historical things like rough knit bonnets, Jacobite/pirate shirts, 18th century weaponry, leather bag-like sporrans, moccasins, and so forth, I can only guess that they link Scottishness with the time period in which most of our Scots arrived.
    Like OC Richard, I don't care to violate the conditions set forth at the head of this page by discussing "why Americans feel the need to be armed." There are other web sites where one can go to get a sense of that, for better or worse. What I will discuss here is dirk-wearing and the propensity of some people at Scottish games (and Renn Fests, as well) to hang all the weapons upon themselves that they possibly can when wearing the kilt.

    I wear 18th century style dirks with my 18th century kit because I'm a member of a reenactment group that portrays 1740s Jacobite Highlanders at Scottish games and similar events. In those days, nearly all Highlanders carried dirks of varying quality (depending, I suppose, on one's social class) and possibly a hideout knife (sgian achlais). When I'm portraying a Highland gentleman, I also carry a sword and a flintlock Scottish pistol. Highland reenactors also carry (depending on who they are portraying) Highland targes, Lochaber axes and flintlock muskets/bayonets. When I'm participating as a member of my reenactment group, I go armed as they would have back in the day. As I like to tell visiting moderns, the early 18th c. Highlands was kind of like Afghanistan - men usually were always armed, perhaps except when in their home environment, and even when not armed, weapons were close at hand. However, when appearing in modern Highland dress at other times, I do not carry weapons (and sometimes not even a sgian dhu). I see no need to do so, even were I wear full evening dress. In the USA, pipers and drummers are usually the only kilt-wearers that need to wear a dirk (as part of their uniform).

    But when I attend Scottish games and Renn fests with my group, I see some kilt-wearing men who seem to think that one is not a true Scot unless they hang all possible edged weaponry on themselves. I recall seeing one fellow in modern Highland dress who not only wore a two-handed sword on his back and and a dirk, but also had a sgian dhu in his stocking and a kukri (in a brass scabbard, no less) hanging on his hip, as well as military ribbons and badges on his shirt. I was not impressed. I think the propensity to hang all these weapons upon oneself comes from the 19th c. portraits of Highland nobility and gentry (the portrait of "The Cock of the North" comes to mind), and modern people think they must do the same today. Some guys wear kilts or belted plaids (many times badly, in Braveheart style) with bearskin vests, pirate shirts, to-the-knee leather Native American-style boots, or whatever their interpretations of cuarans are. I think you get the idea and may have seen similar. IMHO, it's not like wearing modern Highland dress in a restrained and respectful manner (and I'm no kilt kop!). I expect to see it more at Renn fests than at Scottish games, but either way it's more like a dress-up costume parade. I have to admit that makes me cringe sometimes.

    I will now climb down from my soapbox. Each must do as they will.
    Last edited by Orvis; 19th June 18 at 11:58 AM.

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  15. #99
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    I have bitten my fingers past the first joint to avoid typing (akin to biting tongue). I am, however, going to attempt to be legal and civil
    and still direct. It is, to me and many others, tiresome, demeaning, and pejorative to speak of "gun nuts" and "Americans' need to be armed", whether by those within or without the national borders of the USA. If we spoke in equivalent terms about pretty much anything relating to those abroad, we would be shouted down. And censored. It would be so very nice to be able to have adults speaking as adults to adults, and not have to tiptoe about to say we still put food on the table the old fashioned way. But we do. I don't, personally, being vegetarian, but virtually everyone I grew up with did and many still do. That is not fancy, or romanticizing, it's just reality. Also reality is the history of the British Isles, and Europe, and pretty much the entire world predating the founding of this country, and how that shaped the thinking of the rabble that became the Minutemen and the Continental Line and militias. Before there was this country to have a constitution. A fairly short excursion through relevant texts sums it up fairly succinctly. It's not insulting, it's not dangerous, it's not political in the usual usage of that word.

    Be not insulted, please if you live outwith these borders, it's widely misunderstood here, too, and it is the lack of understanding and framework that leads to irrelevant and hot-blooded comments based on emotion and mudslinging. In proper perspective, it's two or three paragraphs of very civil language. And not a violation of the statements at the top of the page. A calm discussion can be had with me privately, should anyone have the desire. Be warned, while I am fairly apolitical, and associated with no party, I have been known to natter on about many other subjects. And on. And on.

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  17. #100
    PatrickHughes123 is offline This person has opted out of remaining active
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orvis View Post
    pirate shirts
    If people could stop referring to Ghillie shirts as pirate shirts, that would be great. Ghillie shirts are traditional shirts and are not modern inventions like some claim. I wear a Ghillie shirt with my kilt and it looks great!

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