[National Tartan Day: Female Costume]
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Arisaid
The female tartan cloak: brat (pron. braht) is called an  arisaid (pron. air-i-sayed, varoosatch) and is a full length wool, fleece or silk cloak that goes from the neck to the heels. It can have up to three yards of material. The arisaid is fastened with a metal brooch at the breast and is belted at the waist. It can be pale colored tartan with blue or red stripes, purple, blue, green, crimson, black, yellow, grey, speckled. The cloak is worn over a full length kimono sleeved shirt made of silk or linen called a léine (pron. LAY-na ) either white with gold embroidery at the neck and cuffs or saffron-colored with green or red embroidery. Hair is loose or elaborately braided and decorated with golden balls. Solid gold necklaces and bracelets called torcs. Nails are dyed crimson and eyebrows dyed black with berry juice

The dress of the women among them is most becoming, for over a gown reaching the feet, and very richly adorned by the Phrygian art (embroidery), they wear very full cloaks, of several colours, such as I have described - loose and flowing, yet gracefully drawn into folds, as they will. With their arms tastefully adorned with bracelets, and their throats with necklaces they have great grace and beauty. – Bishop Lesly, 1570’s. (1, 2, 3)


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© Copyright 2000. Christine O’Keeffe, Ver. 1.0. Monday, September 4, 2000