The “Real Story” of the Scotland’s Kilt

by johnandterri


One of the good things about traveling with the Road Scholar program as I mentioned in the last blog is the value of getting some excellent guides for the local area your are visiting. We are many things we have to “unlearn” sometimes as we learn the “real story” of what happened or how things really happened. We have a lot of stuff in our head that is myth and incorrect. Of course, we must remain open to learning anew. I read that we on a good day, most of us are only willing to call 5 percent of our present information into question at any one point! Now that seems like a very low number to me but it is probably pretty close to the mark, I suspect.

So what is the real story with Scotlands’ kilt?

Scotland’s kilt is tied to its history. The people of the Highlands were the folks that used the kilts. They were a very broad and wide boat of fabric 6 ft by 9ft. It was a “swiss army knife” in that it had many very practical uses for the “Highlanders”.

As mentioned the kilt was very practical dress for the terrain that they lived in which was very “lush” (word they use for wet grass and vegetation). If you wore traditional trousers or pants they would be soaked through in very short order. The bare lower legs would get wet but would dry quicker. The kilt also was important when they hunted as they covered themselves to create a blind (that is why the colors of the kilt were the same colors of the terrain). The also used it for shelter (a tent and a ground cloth).

The kilt was key element of their lifestyle of the highlander. It was part of “who they were”. After the battle of the Culloden when the last Scottish uprising was put down by the English they banned the use of the kilt and the bagpipes. They also began to “clear them off the land” as well. They wanted to completely “kill off the culture of the Highlander”.

But, as so often we see in life, we love to romanticise things and people after a time has passed. So the kilt and bagpipes returned in the Victorian era (1800’s) as it was then fashionable to wear the kilt again. This has continued on to this day.

So, there you go. The history of the kilt is not quite what we think. It is has a history that is very important to the people of Scotland!

Let us all remember, there is always often more to the “story” than we know!



Photograph of Scotland for Blog

Scotland’s Scenic Iona

During our stay in Scotland we had experienced the all kinds of weather (four seasons in one day as our guide, Robin MacGregor said). Our day trip out to the Isle of Iona was no exception. The island of Mull and Iona were beautiful. This image tries to capture the beauty of the coastline of the isle of Iona.