What came first? The chicken or the egg? This philosophical question has been pondered by young children and adults alike and is often the first debate we enter when it comes to querying our origins. Everything we see, touch, smell, feel and hear has an origin somewhere, sometimes obvious, other times hidden beneath a depth of layers (no pun intended).So when this week’s prompt was set I had the hard task of picking something, anything to discuss where it originated from.
I originate with virtually everyone in the world from Africa. I originated from Mitochondrial Eve 192,400 years ago. From there, Ulfa (U5a1a1) took us to Scotland around 12,000 years ago. If you want a feel for how long ago that was make each sheet of toilet paper worth 1000 ( or 10,000 years) and unroll it until you reach 12,000 and you have a good visual idea of just how long ago that was. But this is not the origin I was going to talk about. Rather it is originating from Scotland bereft of a kilt which is now seen as the emblem of Scotland.
The kilt originated in the 1600s and remain a powerful symbol of Scotland, literally, the claim being that a man in a kilt is a man and a half and considered far more serious an opononent than one in trousers. So much so that the kilt was banned by Britain who remained in fear of the Scots. Eventually this law was relaxed to allow those in the forces to wear the kilt and the Germans in WWI found the kilt wearing regiments the most formidable of any they faced.
My family however, despite originating from Scotland, did not lay claim to a kilt. This upset me as my Scots heritage was a prominent feature of my childhood. Coming from the lowlands our forebears saw the highlanders in their kilts as a barbarous lot of hooligans in their kilts. They called them “redshankes” due to exposing their bare legs summer and winter despite the wearer probably being “blue with cold.”
This did not stop my parents from buying my brother a kilt when we visited Scotland in the 1950s. I was jealous as. I eventually inherited his sporran and regret that no-one knows what eventually happened to it. Eventually I did inherit a kilt from my aunt whose husband had rightful claim to one as he came from the highlands.
Follow the links within the post for the other origin stories I allude to and to the weekly discover site for other responses to the challenge.