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 Definition A knee-length, skirtlike, traditional Scottish garment, usually worn by men as part of Highland attire. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup category Anthropology [Editors asked to check categories]
 Subgroup category:  Scotland
 Talk Archive none  English language variant British English

Source of material for the kilt article

The Citizendium version of the kilt article is being constructed exclusively from material created by myself. Much of this material was previously posted (by myself) to the Wikipedia article on the kilt (where it still remains), but as I was the creator of this material (at least that which will be used here), there is no need to backlink to the WP version. James F. Perry 20:57, 29 January 2007 (CST)

The material which I just now added to the kilt article (in the Altering a kilt section - kilt too long or too short) was written by myself and previously posted by myself to the Wikipedia version of the kilt article on or about January 20, 2007. However, as with the rest of this article, I was the original creator of the content and therefore there is no need to reference the WP version in the article credits. James F. Perry 07:13, 12 June 2007 (CDT)

What's in a word: skirt

My copy of the New Oxford American Dictionary (published 2001) defines the word kilt as follows:

a knee-length skirt of pleated tartan cloth traditionally worn by men as part of Scottish Highland dress and now also worn by women and girls. (emphasis mine)

Be it noted that some Scots take at least mild offense whenever the kilt is referred to as a skirt, though this is less the case today than it was a generation ago. While this very reputable dictionary employs the s-word without qualification, I have instead chosen to use the word skirtlike. Elsewhere, I see it described as an "unbifurcated male garment" or such like.

I see no good reason to abandon the use of a term (skirtlike) which conveys a clear meaning (especially in conjunction with the accompanying photo) in such a concise manner. At the same time, it takes no positiion on the somewhat sensitive issue as to whether the kilt is or is not a skirt.

James F. Perry 11:37, 14 June 2007 (CDT)

Finely woven

Hi James, Have been watching your excellent work here for some time. Do you think this article is nearing completion? If so, it might be a good time to seek out an Editor and ask them to nominate it for Approval. If you'd be interested, I'd be glad to facilitate the process! Cheers, Russell Potter 20:20, 17 June 2007 (CDT)

Workgroup for "kilt" article

The Anthropology Workgroup seems like a good fit. One branch of anthropology - cultural anthropology - deals in part with such matters as folk customs and folk traditions. This WG assignment would also accommodate other related articles such as "Highland games". James F. Perry 23:05, 17 June 2007 (CDT)

The question as to the proper Workgroup for this article (and others related thereto) cannot be considered solved. At best, the Anthropology WG seems more appropriate for matters related to the history of the kilt and Highland customs of the past generally, these being folk customs or folk traditions, a proper sub-study of Anthropology. However, the kilt article itself, (and don't forget the kilt variants article, currently without WG), has been included in the Anthropology WG only by association.
Let us review the background and academic credentials of some of the most prominent authorities in the field.
Barbara Tewksbury and Elsie Stuehmeyer joint authors of the most detailed and informative book on kiltmaking, The Art of Kiltmaking. Sturehmeyer has no academic credentials to my knowledge, but is a professional seamstress and kiltmaker. Tewksbury has a PhD in . . . geology!
Matthew Newsome, curator of the Scottish Tartans Museum in Franklin, North Carolina and author of numerous books and pamphlets on the subject of kilts and their history, has a degree in English Literature. His expertise seems to have been acquired in the first instance as a result of extensive reading and research in connection with the Society for Creative Anachronism!
John Telfer Dunbar, author of the seminal work History of Highland Dress has an academic background consisting of a degree (at what level, I do not know) in Archaeology.
J. Charles Thompson, author of Scotland's Forged Tartans, considered a brilliant philological analysis of the Vestiarium Scoticum, makes no mention of any academic background in the author information in the Forged Tartans book.
And, of course, the Sobieski Stuart brothers, authors of one of he most controversial and important costume books in history - the Vestiarium - were frauds and their book is a forgery.
So what WG does the kilt article belong in? Might I suggest it belongs in an expanded Topic Informants WG? In fact, the TI Workgroup was my first thought, but then I discovered on the Policy page that said WG was for biographies only.
And don't forget that expertise in kiltmaking does not necessarily equate to expert knowledge on the history of the kilt, or on Highland society and customs generally. But just as I would not necessarily go to a kiltmaker for historical knowledge, I would not go to an historian to have a kilt made!
James F. Perry 16:21, 14 August 2007 (CDT)

I actually would like to see evidence that anthropologists study kilts and highland customs at all; I'm skeptical. You can't simply assume it. If they don't, in fact, then this article can't be in the Anthro Workgroup.

The TI Workgroup was created for topics in which certain persons have vested interests. We do not say that whoever is an expert about such-and-such has a vested interest in such-and-such, so the TI Workgroup is inappropriate.

I think the way forward is to set up a mechanism for creating workgroups about various of what I would call "hobbyist" topics. Examples might include Kilts and Highland Customs (or whatever), Gardening, Irish Traditional Music, Model Building, etc. And then, we might try to get clearer, in each group, what constitutes minimum qualifications for editorship. --Larry Sanger 22:28, 14 August 2007 (CDT)

Scope of this article

The word kilt is used at present to describe quite a variety of different garments. The current version of the kilt article is exclusively about the Scottish kilt as described in the article itself. The other types of garments sometimes or generally referred to as "kilts" differ in certain respects, often substantially, from the Scottish kilt. I am working on an article to be entitled kilt variants which will discuss these other garments, which include:

  1. historical forms of the Scottish kilt, such as the Great kilt (aka belted plaid);
  2. various national forms of the kilt, such as the Irish kilt;
  3. modern or contemporary versions of the kilt (Neo-Kilt, Utilikilt);
  4. certain types of skirts for girls.

While it would be possible to include a discussion of all types of "kilts' in one article (please note, however, that not everyone is in agreement on the propriety of applying the word "kilt" to all the types of garments mentioned above), I have chosen the approach of using separate articles.

The basis for this decision is that, in spite of increasing usage of the word kilt to describe garments other than the Scottish kilt, it remains true (at least at present) that when the word kilt is used, at least among the mass of people, it is the Scottish kilt which is referred to, with its strong association with bagpipes, Scotland, et cetera. As well, in most English speaking areas of the world, the overwhelming majority of images of the kilt, on television, in the newspapers, etc, are of the Scottish kilt. Further, the main, and often the only dictionary entry for kilt refers to the Scottish kilt, even among the larger, more complete dictionaries. Where a dictionary does include mention of other types of kilt (other than the Scottish kilt, that is), it will invariably be in a secondary definition. The main entry refers in all cases of which I am familiar to the Scottish form of the kilt as discussed in this article.

In sum, I believe there is substantial justification for my decision to discuss the Scottish kilt in its own article using the word kilt alone (unhyphenated, not in a compound) for this article, and to discuss the other garments in another article (kilt variants).

James F. Perry 16:13, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

Operational definition of a kilt

The article as conceived and written takes as its starting point those kilts as typically seen in top level piping and dancing competitions at Highland Games events. This is an example of an operational definition. Instead of attempting to define the word kilt directly, I have simply delineated a well-defined sample field of such garments (as determined by the governing competition bodies) and described them.

Towards the end of the article, there is a brief mention of the Kilt Makers Association of Scotland, a trade group which has established standards for kilts made by their members.

There is a broad general overlap between the kilts as operationally defined for purposes of the article and the KMAS kilts. I do not know for certain whether the competition kilts meet all of the KMAS standards, however. For example, I do not know whether the typical competition kilt uses 50 weight thread as specified in the KMAS standards. And, of course, even if the majority of competition kilts are hand sewn (I have been assured by someone who would know about such matters that they are), no one would be excluded from competing because their kilt is machine stitched. That is one reason why I chose the operational definition used in the article.

Another reason is that I did not want to be in a position of describing a "quality" kilt, or defining what is, and what is not, a kilt. The makers of various types of contemporary or modern kilts would certainly object vehemently to any implication that their kilts were not quality garments. Likewise, the word kilt is used (some would say, misused) to describe quite a wide variety of garments, and I didn't want to enter those waters where be monsters and demons.

James F. Perry 18:30, 7 August 2007 (CDT)

Nominated as Article of the Week

I nominated this article as the CZ:Article of the Week. If you would like to vote for this article please visit that page and add your name to the list. --Carl Jantzen 13:38, 8 August 2007 (CDT)

Do let's make sure that we get Cathy McWilliam's changes folded in soon, then! --Larry Sanger 13:45, 8 August 2007 (CDT)
Yes. Carl, you caught me (us) in the midst of a number of emendations designed to bring this article up to final approval standards. I'm at work right now on them. Thank you for the nomination, though. James F. Perry 16:00, 8 August 2007 (CDT)

Recent revisions to the kilt article

Most of the recent emendations to the kilt article were entered in response to suggested revisions sent in by Catherine McWilliams, a professional kilt maker certified by the Kilt Makers Association of Scotland.

I will be commenting on some of the changes here, beginning with the introductory section.

In the lead, or introductory, section, a clarification was entered concerning the usage of the kilt. The original language ("...the kilt, which is worn by both men and women...") - while strictly speaking, true - almost made it sound like some type of unisex garment. The amended language gives a clearer and more accurate picture of the actual usage of the garment.

James F. Perry 16:22, 9 August 2007 (CDT)

Moving this towards approval

Is there anyone around who can help move this well-developed article along?

Seems to me it needs two things

1) a move to Kilt (modern) or kilt (competitive) or kilt (Highland Games). If you asked me what a kilt was, I would say a traditional Scottish or Irish garment, not a garment used in modern times for dance competitions. The article now called kilt variants seems to me to be the one that should be at [[kilt]. This seems likely to me to fuel a fight such as that over thoroughbred or Thoroughbred, (not to mention footboall'--oy!) but I can't help that; let's hash it out, the sensibility of aficionados notwithstanding.

2)an expert in the field to approve the finishing touches.

Reasonable? Too much to ask?

Aleta Curry 22:47, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Many things at CZ are reasonable, sigh, but are, nevertheless, too much to ask.... Hayford Peirce 23:01, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, approval may be difficult to achieve (at least, currently, without EC). But moving around these articles is simple. It seems to be common sense that "Kilt variants" -- as a kind of disambiguation -- is the "top" article while others get distinguishing titles ("Highland games" seems to be alright, "modern" would be too general.) --Peter Schmitt 23:27, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, thanks to both of you.

What I *don't* know, is if this article really intended to refer only to the garments worn by competitors and entertainers (second paragraph) or to ALL modern kilts (seemingly implied in intro) i.e., formal and informal kilts still worn by some Scotsmen, Irishmen and other Celts as modern day dress. That should determine it's name, and it's not for only me to say.

With respect to the move, I'm afraid to do it, since there's already this article at the [kilt] namespace. Someone else give it a go, please? Pretty please?

Aleta Curry 23:41, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

The following sentence from the introduction defines the intended meaning:
"The word kilt as used in this article refers to those garments as typically seen in such competitions."
The only question is: Is it "Highland Games" or "Highland games" (or "highland games")?

--Peter Schmitt 23:55, 12 June 2010 (UTC) I would say "Highland games" based on the fact that there are many such festivals (as opposed to Olympic Games, where there's just one). Aleta Curry 02:12, 13 June 2010 (UTC)