Tartanry into Tartan: Heritage, Tourism and Material Culture

Ian Maitland Hume

in From Tartan to Tartanry

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780748638772
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653539 | DOI:
Tartanry into Tartan: Heritage, Tourism and Material Culture

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This chapter seeks to link material culture specifically to the growing debate about the contemporary understanding of the meaning and impact of tartan and its larger cousin, tartanry (or following Michael Newton, the differently inflected term, tartanism). It opines that there can be as much positive assessment of their nature as there has been past negative criticism because there is growing awareness that tartan is endowed with a large range of complex meanings, depending on its use and the circumstance which it is found. It further opines that tartanry itself, rather than just representing a romantic, kitsch interpretation of the past, now embraces whole spectrums of different meanings beyond relatively simple publicity often associated with the tourist industry. It suggests paying more attention to its role in the interpretation of Scotland's heritage for the worldwide diaspora of people who look to Scotland as the home of their forebears.

Keywords: material culture; tartan; tartanry; Michael Newton; tartanism; tourist industry; heritage; diaspora

Chapter.  4288 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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