[Tartan History Page]
Tartan Day - Customs - Legends - Rings - E-Cards

The tartan is the national dress of Scotland and consists of a plaid woven in wool. It was originally made from vegetable dyes produced from lichens, mosses, berries, and flowers of the mountainsides and is now made with chemical dyes. The national language of Scotland is Gaelic.
Two hundred years ago a good speaker of Irish [meaning Gaelic, the language of the Celts], traveling slowly from Kerry to Antrim and on to the north of Scotland, could have spoken the language all the way and noticed only minute dialectal changes as he passed from place to place. Today, however, the Irish-speaking areas are separated geographically by wide stretches of English-speaking territory, and their dialects would seem fairly distinct. ...A good speaker of any dialect can, with a little practice, understand any other fully... – Mícheál ó Siadhail
The clearance of the Highlanders from their ancestral homes, the banning of the Gaelic language, and demise of the tartan as a regular garment began in the Renaissance – 1603 was a momentous year. James VI became King of Scotland (James VI) and England (James I) after the death of Queen Elizabeth. He successfully stopped the draw of power away from his position by the Calvinists, tortured witches and ordered the genocide of the Highlanders. James called it kingcraft, and it was executed in Northern Ireland and Scotland. It is also known as   The Pacification of the Highlands. (1, 2, 5, 12, 59)
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