** Scottish kilts: usage -- social class

Scottish Kilts: Regional Trends

Figure 1.--Here we have an example of a Low Lands boy wseafung a Highland kilt outfit, complete with an eagle feather. We think the portrait was taken in the 1870s, probaly the eraly-70s. The boy wears a Highland outfit, only the socks seem a little unusual. While the porteait is niot dated, we know it was taken in the Low Lands. This portrait was taken by an A. Davidsonr who had two studios, both in the Low Lands: Carluke and Lanark.

The usage of the kilt has varied significantly on a regional basis within Scotland. Today it is universally revered within Scotland as a symbol of the nation, although very few Scotts commonly wear the garment. Historically it was the Highland Scotts that most commonly wore the kilt. The Lowland Scotts in southern Scotland were much more influenced by English culture and over time adopted French and English manners and dress. They like the English negan to look on the kilt as a symbol of barabarity of the Highland clans. They did not wear the kilt and certainly would not have dressed their boys in one. This seems to have befun to change in the 19th century. At least we begin to see Lowland boys having portraits made in kilts. Apparently the romantic Scottish revival of the late-18th/early 19th century children that Lowland attitudes began to change concerning the kilt. And by the time photography appeared we see bits throughout Scotland wearing kilts (mid-19th century). We suspect that the kilkt was much more common in the Highlands, but we do not yet have a lot of information on prevalence. The kilt was also commonly worn on the Western Isles. We have, however, very little information on the islnds at this time, but the kilt may have been prevalent there.


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Created: 8:26 AM 9/19/2021
Last updated: 8:26 AM 9/19/2021