Tartan and Ulster: Part Two|
Titanic Tartans and Clifford Smyth
Clifford Smyth, author of
"Titanic Tartans. An Ulster Scots Cultural Odyssey",
Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2009
For queries concerning this work and details on how to order it contact Clifford by E-Mail.
This book, Titanic Tartans" by Clifford Smyth, deals with the
history of the Scottish Kilt as well as the tartan design especially in Ulster
Clifford mentions the finding of the "Ulster Tartan" dating from the 1600s at
first believed to have been done in Donegal style of strips in varying sizes and
distance from each other. A later scientific reconstruction however showed it to
have depicted a tartan pattern. Clifford speaks of his own personal experiences
as active in promoting knowledge of the Scotch-Irish dialect and the Ulster
Parallels to Highland Dress
William Pinkerton (1858) claimed that the short kilt as we know it is a
relatively modern invention. Clifford disagrees. An interesting point that
Pinkerton brings up is that the Scottish Tartan belted plaid (a kind of cloak)
worn in the Highlands is identical in its design to the Arabic Haik worn in
Tartan Conveys a Message!
Titanic Tartans (p.107) quotes Brian Wilton as saying:
tartan is the only fabric in the world that makes a statement about who you are
and where you come from. That is not to say that outsiders instantly recognize
that statement being made by the tartan which you are wearing; but you know what
it is that you are saying about yourself #
The Sinking of the Titanic
RMS Titanic was a famous ship built in Ulster that struck an iceberg and sank in
1912. More than 1,500 casualties sank with her. The ship prior to that had been
advertised as unsinkable. The resultant publicity and other factors resulted in
the sinking of the Titanic receiving an historical importance beyond the
relative statistical importance of the numbers lost. A well-known movie has been
made (1997) about it. Clifford decided to design and market a tartan design of
his own in memory of the Titanic. Part of the book describes what this entailed.
Kosher Jewish Tartan
Clifford speaks of Rabbi Mendel Jacobs who produced his own "Kosher" Jewish
We are also told that:
tailors especially in Edinburgh had been involved in kilt-making in Scotland and
the industry had benefited from their entrepreneurial skills#.
Jews are reported in Edinburgh from the 1690s.
Designing Twelve New
Tartans for Each Israelite Tribe?
Titanic Tartans mentions Brit-Am supporter Azriel Ben-Moshe. Azriel
represented Brit-Am on a trip to Europe which included a series of successful
meetings in Ulster. Clifford speaks of "Azriel's vision of tartans for each of
the Tribes of Israel". Clifford and Azriel discussed the possibility of creating
Twelve New Tartans, one for each of the Tribes of Israel.
Does Tartan Bear an
An ancient Bronze statuette from Offally in Leinster, central Ireland, depicts
St. Manchan clearly wearing a short kilt with tartan design.
The question is asked (p.184):
sculptures in 12th-century Ireland dress St.
in a kilt styled after the legendary
, said to have journeyed from
Miletus in Greece, and then
Spain, before reaching Ireland? #
The Israeli Flag of Northern Ireland.
To be Continued