Paint And Plaid

We are told Indians painted themselves in certain colors associated with war, death, happiness, revenge etc.  With certain exceptions this is not true.  They painted themselves with whatever colors pleased them at the moment sometimes in the most bizarre manner.  And so garishly made up that way when on the warpath against White settlers they were the original creepy clowns trying to decoy people into the woods.

highland-gentlemanNeither did Highland clans  wear tartans identifying their clan,  Instead they wore whatever plaid pleased them.  The whole idea of clan tartans came about when two Italian brothers toured the Highlands after Culloden, visited each clan leader in and asked him to choose a plaid.  Sometime he did and sometimes he wouldn’t so the brothers chose one for him. Then the two published a book they promoted as the authoritative listing of clan “clan tartans.”   And so today if your name is MacNab and you wish to have a kilt made for a formal affair you go on-line and buy three yards of the “official MacNab” plaid at $28.53 per yard then proudly wear a design at your wedding or son’s Bar Mitzvah that was most likely chosen for you by some Italian guy in the 1700s.