Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Oregon tartan

You've probably noticed that I've been playing around with the background of the blog. I currently have the Oregon tartan up, and I think I'm going to keep it.

I don't know how many people understand tartans. I know I didn't before Tall One got a kilt. There are many different tartans, and which one you wear depends on which clan you're part of (or what the pipe band you're in demands that you wear when playing with them). Of course, if you aren't actually part of a clan or a pipe band, then there are some choices. My brother went with the Douglass tartan when he got his first kilt because the official Oregon tree is the Douglass fir tree, named after a guy in the Douglass clan.

That's not to say we don't have Scottish heritage. We do. We even know what clan is in our heritage, but we choose not to associate with it. You see, about five generations back our branch of the family either got disinherited, or disinherited ourselves; it's sort of debatable, but I like the latter theory better. This clan -- or at any rate those in it who we're descended from -- has a bit of a history of being fairly nasty, to put it mildly.

So, we have nothing to do with them. And as a result, Tall One got to go searching for a tartan to wear just like anyone who isn't actually of Scottish descent gets to.

Another interesting tidbit about this clan is that it was disbanded for plotting treason. Well, truthfully, whether treason was actually plotted is a debatable point. What's not debatable is that one day the king exclaimed "Treason! Off with their heads!" And off their heads went. However, there are still actual members of the clan around (not just disinherited members like my branch of the family) and I suspect that the tartan is still in use outside of Scotland.

I'd always figured that when I get around to wearing a tartan I'd just follow Tall One's lead and wear the Douglass tartan. Then last summer I learned that each US state has its own tartan. I instantly knew what my tartan is.

My roots are firmly in the Great Northwest. I've grown up in Oregon. This is my homeland. It has a tartan? Well then, that tartan is my tartan. Simple as that. Ok, so I'm close enough to Washington that my roots are partially embedded there as well, but it's in Oregon that I've grown up, so it's the Oregon tartan that I'm claiming as my own.

I still might find a different background for this blog that I like better, but I don't think that's likely.

2 comments:

Scarlet said...

Wow, the OR tartan is really pretty!! WI just got it's own tartan a few years back and I don't think it's quite as pretty as the OR one, looking at it. It' just as well that I married a decendant of the Roberston/Donnachaidh clan and so don't have to worry about picking one... that said, when I got a ladies "kilt" I picked from the rack of cheapos and had to select, lol! I grapped a pruple one. I later found out it was in the patern of the National Scottish tartan and that purple was one of the most popular renditions of it. (tartan, as you know, is the pattern itself, not the colors which may change to suit the occasion, though lately, the colors have become so tied to the particular tartans that color variations have fallen out of use in most places)...
So... I rambled on your blog...
Nice blog btw ;)
-Scarlet

Sarita said...

Thanks. :)

No I didn't know that the tartan was the particular pattern. I thought that the colors were part of it. Live and learn I guess.

I know that with the OR tartan they chose particular colors to signify different aspects of the state.

I don't have a kilt yet. I've actually been wanting to get a leisure kilt, but somehow haven't gotten around to it. Perhaps next Highland season.

I do plan to play drums in a band someday, so I know I'll eventually get a full blown kilt. :P