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More things Scottish

Poster: Betty & David Eyer <Betty_and_David@compuserve.com>


>>Lastly, I looked at your mundane last name, and tried to find it in my
reference book The Clans and Tartans of Scotland by Robert Bain. I couldn't
find anything closer to it than Gallie, which is a sept of Clan Gunn. I can
therefore only determine that your Scottish ancestry is from your mother's
side, or possibly your father's mother's side of the family. Galloway
sounds more Irish to me, and looks closer to Galway, both a city and a bay
in Ireland. <<

Everyone knows that a Scot is just an Irishman with a boat.  Periodic
migrations from Ulster to Scotland occurred throughout recorded history. 
Lots of documentably ancient Scottish names are French, for instance.  I
have ancestors named McParlin  from Mac Partlin and several other
variations) which is considered by geneologists to be an Irish name, but my
ancestors came here from Scotland and had lived there as long as anyone
could remember.  There are still McParlins in Scotland and Ireland. 

>>Woad as war paint was worn by early Picts (and possibly also early
/Albannach/ and Britons, but AFAIK that's still debatable). By Wallace's
time the Picts were a vanished people and I'm sure a sturdy Lowlander like
Wallace wouldn't have been caught in the stuff.  Likewise I doubt Wallace
would have wanted to be seen in a kilt, although he did have "wild hielan'
men"  fighting with him.<<
I agree with the Lady and would like to add...

It just so happens that I recently researched this due to a thread in a
modern fiber craft forum.  Sorry, since I was not interested in making a
formal arguement, I did not write down bibliographies, but I could probably
get them if properly harassed.  This is what I came up with: 

1. The Pictii were so named by the Romans.  The word means 'The Painted
Ones'.  There is evidence of pre-Celtic settlements in areas where picts
supposedly lived.  There is no way to tell if the folks who lived there
were Picts.  Tradition tells us they were different from Celts; however,
there is little or no difference in any archealogical digs from   the time
the Romans so named them - it is therefore an ungrounded assumption that
these are the same peoples.  It is probable that if they were, they were so
intermarried with Celts at that point as to be just another Celtic tribe. 
This is more than a thousand years prior to Wallace.

2. The Romans also descibed Celts all over Europe as being painted or
having body decorations, depending on your choice of translators.  There is
NO archealogical evidence of anyone painting their bodies in Europe,
because skin does not preserve well in damp climates.  The only evidence of
body paint is on some metal artifacts and a series of cave paintings, the
former from the Ardennes and the later from the Baltic area and both are
pre-Roman.  The body decorations look like knot work and stylized animals
and are probably tatooes but could be jewelry!  The Baltic sample is quite
probably Scythian and because of placement is probably not jewelry. 
Chemical evidence of indigotin  the dye in woad) degrades quickly and is
difficult to prove. SOOO, to make a long story short, there is nohard
evidence that anyone anywhere painted themselves with woad, and the only
archaelogical evidence of any body decorations are a long way from any

My personal conclusion is that Picts probably painted themsleves a lot, or
most of the time, and some Celts painted themselves some of the time, and
certainly by our period, probably no one painted themselves. And maybe,
probably, the 'paint' was a tatoo.  If anyone in the vicinity of a Pict
painted themselves blue, as the Romans claim, then it was almost certainly
with woad, just because it was very available and very little else was that
would turn blue.  

On the subject of Braveheart - and this is pure opinion - 

The reason why art appeals to us is that it conveys emotional or absolute
truths which appeal to us.  We like to see Braveheart because it stirs our
feelings, even though it may injure our intellects.  The 'truths' of
Braveheart undoubtedly apply more to our time than to Wallace's.  So do not
be ashamed of being inspired by a movie, however silly.  Do be very, very
afraid of using a movie as documentation or grounds for making assumptions
about history. 

Magdalena de Hazebrouck

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