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  1. #1
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    Scottish Back Sword

    When is it ok to wear a back sword with my kilt? Attending local Scottish fest and highland games this weekend.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Moving directly to 'Weapons' subforum.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

  3. #3
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    I have learned here that in the US the Renaissance Fair is thing and trips across the line between highland games and Comic Con - but since you specify Highland games and festival, I'm going to assume that this is not a fantasy event. That being said, my response to your question about when a sword would be appropriate would be - never. Unless you are in a highland unit or some sort of honour guard, the wearing of a sword tips your daywear outfit into the fantasy realm, to my way of thinking. I'm sure there will be someone there in a great kilt, and a huge floppy balmoral and a sword - but I wouldn't want it to be me.

    Dress smart and give others something to aspire to ...and leave the sword at home.

    Do take some photos of the Games. We'd love to see them.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randycan View Post
    When is it ok to wear a back sword with my kilt? Attending local Scottish fest and highland games this weekend.
    Thanks.
    Unless you’re doing “living history”, please don’t do this.

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  7. #5
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    As a living history reenactor (1745 Appin Regt), I also recommend that you leave your sword at home. Although most Highland games don't have rules about wearing weapons (some guys in Highland dress seem to subscribe to the theory that one isn't a real Scotsman unless he has all the edged weapons hanging on him that he can possibly wear), some do. Even Renaissance Faires have rules about non-staff being prohibited from wearing weapons if they're dressed in costume. I've told this story, but once when my ex and I were visiting my ex-inlaws in Canada, I decided to wear my reenacting outfit (historic uniform of the 1757 77th Regt of Foot - Montgomery's Highlanders), complete with a backsword and dirk, to a nearby Highland games, and before I knew it I had a tail of provincial policemen following me around, so I had to put the sword and dirk in my car, feeling sheepish about the whole incident.

    When I attend Highland games with my living history unit, we're dressed and armed in well-researched historic Highland dress and weapons for the education of the crowd. But I've seen guys arrive dressed (badly) in belted plaids carrying their William Wallace two-hander (or maybe a battle-axe) and a 19th c. piper's dirk (one guy had a khukri), along with a sgian dhu - well, you get the idea. To us reenactors, these guys look like Renn Faire people who are in the wrong place, wrong time.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randycan View Post
    When is it ok to wear a back sword with my kilt? Attending local Scottish fest and highland games this weekend.
    Thanks.
    Please bear with an old man’s digressions. I’ve attended one and only one “Renaissance” fantasy fair. My intent was to entertain my pre-school great-grandson. An unbelievable paradox occurred. Contract security officers were collecting writing instruments from attendees at the entry point to the event. An immense pile of pens, pencils, and markers had accumulated on the entry point table by the time my wee reiver and I arrived. Meanwhile inside the event were countless edged and stabbing weapons of every ilk from historical recreations to total fantasy weapons.

    The following day I emailed queried the municipal department that coordinated that Renaissance fair. I wanted to know if there was sufficient fear mongering of the pen being mightier than the sword as the rationale for permitting such an array of edged weapons while confiscating a huge collection of writing instruments.

    The municipal department’s reply to me was that initially they thought that I was a total nut case. They perused my query further taking into consideration my board certification in security management. The results of their investigation did indeed show that an immense collection of writing instruments had been confiscated at the entry point to the Renaissance Fair.

    I was through with Renaissance Fairs after that. Too much fantasy. Unsupervised contract security run amok. I found other ways to entertain my great-grandson after that fiasco.
    Semper Paratus

  10. #7
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    @Braw Cathairneach Most Ren Faires require weapons carried by visitors to be "peace bonded" (tied into the sheaths and scabbard with white cords) on entry. If they're seen on site with those removed, they're escorted out and told not to return.

    If you went to a new(ish) faire run by people with no experience, they may not have known about that procedure.

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