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Scottish Clans - Their significance

Scotland, the land of tradition and culture is also home to a successful clan system, which keeps the country rooted to its customs and values. Clan has been associated with Scotland since its past and continues to be a vital ingredient of its heritage. This age-old system of family groupings has given many Scots their surname and symbolizes the pride of the family. These communities remains a part of the Scottish society, giving this glorifying land more meaning.

Looking into the history of Scotland we can find that, the clan system emerged way back in 11th century. Scotland was unified, when the clan system eventually came, the clan dominated the remote areas which where far from the centers of Scottish life and government. Galloway and the Borders was first to be part of the clan system.

Clan originated from the Gaelic “clann”, meaning children or descendants, every clan had a clan chief who was responsible for the clan and its affairs. Clan was not based on caste system, clansmen were not blood relations. They were people who used to live in the area and looked up to the clan chief for their protection. Clan was so much important for the people of the clan that, they were even ready to die for their clan, country use to come second for them and clan remained the first priority.

At that time Scotland also witnessed many battles among the different clans for capturing more land for as the clan expanded. Chief of the clan acted like the king and leader for the clan with rest of the clan members supporting him, the son of the clan chief use to be appointed as cadet, who use to keep in touch with the people of the clan and help to run the territory.

There are many clans in Scotland many of which still exists while some have been restricted to keeps up history books, the 'Fraser', originally descended from France and settled in the Borders before they settled in Aberdeenshire. Clan always remained a vital part of Scotland and its culture and society highlighting the age old civic culture of the countries which still remains a prominent feature which Scotland holds.

Role of Tartans :

Tartans has been associated with Scotland since a long time, all Scottish clans do have more than one tartan linked with their surnames. The chief possessed the power to make a clan's tartan official, the tartan use to differentiate the various clans apart from the highland tartan which remains purely regional and the weavers use to prepare in different colour and pattern.

The list of some of the clans in Scotland :

Campbells – Descended from Britons
MacLeods – Were from Viking Blood
Camerons – Anglo - Normans
MacLeans - Moray
Galbraiths – Ancient Briton
Macphersons - Scottish Highlands
Gunns - Orkney Island
Frasers – Inverness
Campbell clan - Argyll

Though the clan system has gradually declined in Scotland, still it has a prominent place in the history and culture of Scotland.

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