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  1. #1
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    Highland costume in world context

    Comments made by somebody the other day made me realise that not everyone sees Highland costume the way I do, as part of humankind-wide, world-wide, folk costume.

    Place after place, people after people, tribe after tribe have ancient traditional costumes which have certain things in common.

    One is the urge to cover as many surfaces as possible with designs.

    A range of techniques are used to do this: fabrics can be woven with designs, articles can be knit with designs, plain fabrics can be embroidered, leather can be tooled and decorated with studs, metal can be engraved, wood can have designs turned or carved.

    Here's a quick visual which (to me anyhow) shows that the Highland love of colour and pattern is far from unique.

    Here are Quechua and Aymara people, people from Africa and Bulgaria and Tibet and Scotland.

    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. The Following 11 Users say 'Aye' to OC Richard For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
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    On first sight and my first impression is that generally speaking the Traditional Civilian Highland Dresser(THCD) and not band attire(military or civilian) has for about a century followed a more conservative route, certainly from a day to day point of view.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  4. #3
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    My own experience with kilts - having worn them in the 1950s, was of a patterned but muted colour garment.

    I did have a fairisle jumper, however, which was navy blue with embroidery silks for the patterns - now that was bright.

    The physical shock of coming across an elderly gentleman in bias cut red based tartan trews and waistcoat, with jacket and bonnet, was considerable - they are not often seen on the south coast. Although some decades ago, I still recall it now.

    Anne the Pleater
    I presume to dictate to no man what he shall eat or drink or wherewithal he shall be clothed."
    -- The Hon. Stuart Ruaidri Erskine, The Kilt & How to Wear It, 1901.

  5. #4
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    I know it's not the modern thing! Which is to, one might say, Saxon-down the Highland outfit, to change tartan coats for somber black, to get rid of all pattern save for the kilt itself.

    But the older Highland way was to be in tartan from the neck down. There are many old images that show it, two of which I posted above. Here are more:

    Last edited by OC Richard; 26th June 21 at 03:45 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    Comments made by somebody the other day made me realise that not everyone sees Highland costume the way I do, as part of humankind-wide, world-wide, folk costume.

    Place after place, people after people, tribe after tribe have ancient traditional costumes which have certain things in common.

    One is the urge to cover as many surfaces as possible with designs.

    A range of techniques are used to do this: fabrics can be woven with designs, articles can be knit with designs, plain fabrics can be embroidered, leather can be tooled and decorated with studs, metal can be engraved, wood can have designs turned or carved.

    Here's a quick visual which (to me anyhow) shows that the Highland love of colour and pattern is far from unique.

    Here are Quechua and Aymara people, people from Africa and Bulgaria and Tibet and Scotland.

    Note the peaceful folk from around the World Proudly displaying their folk dress and the Scots hacking each other to pieces as they swing their claymores. When you consider the history of the Celtic peoples, "peaceful" does not come to mind.
    Those ancient U Nialls from Donegal were a randy bunch.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninehostages View Post
    Note the peaceful folk from around the World Proudly displaying their folk dress and the Scots hacking each other to pieces as they swing their claymores. When you consider the history of the Celtic peoples, "peaceful" does not come to mind.
    To be fair, the Scots chosen are from a war painting from the 1700's, and everything else is a modren photograph. If he wanted to, OCR could have chosen a colour photo from any of the large balls, which still take place. You would still find full tartan dress, jackets of many colours, styles and cuts, as well as a variety of hose, argyle, diced, and the odd single colour. Not to mention the many styles of sporrans.

    Frank
    Drink to the fame of it -- The Tartan!
    Murdoch Maclean

  10. The Following 3 Users say 'Aye' to Highland Logan For This Useful Post:


  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highland Logan View Post
    To be fair, the Scots chosen are from a war painting from the 1700's, and everything else is a modren photograph. If he wanted to, OCR could have chosen a colour photo from any of the large balls, which still take place. You would still find full tartan dress, jackets of many colours, styles and cuts, as well as a variety of hose, argyle, diced, and the odd single colour. Not to mention the many styles of sporrans.

    Frank
    I was thinking exactly the same thing.

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  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highland Logan View Post
    To be fair, the Scots chosen are from a war painting from the 1700's, and everything else is a modren photograph. If he wanted to, OCR could have chosen a colour photo from any of the large balls, which still take place. You would still find full tartan dress, jackets of many colours, styles and cuts, as well as a variety of hose, argyle, diced, and the odd single colour. Not to mention the many styles of sporrans.

    Frank
    To whit, Culloden 1746 by a David Morier an Anglo-Swiss painter retained by the Duke of Cumberland...
    but also Macdonnel of Glengarry fifty years later, who despite being a prize ****, did at least cut a fine figure.

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