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UAL Research Online

Tartan: Its Journey Through the African Diaspora

Kirkland, Teleica (2022) Tartan: Its Journey Through the African Diaspora. In: Scotland's Transnational Heritage: Legacies of Empire and Slavery. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, pp. 23-37. ISBN 978-1-4744-9352-9

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Kirkland, Teleica

In August 2015 the Costume Institute of the African Diaspora (CIAD) developed their first major project which was the culmination of an investigation into how the Tartan pattern had come to be found on different types of fabric in several different parts of Africa, India and the Americas. The project was entitled Tartan: Its Journey Through the African Diaspora and followed the military campaigns and colonial involvement of the Scottish Highland Regiments and the East India company in their influence and propagation of their cultural signifiers across the British Empire.

Tartan, being such a distinctive pattern is immediately associated with Celtic heritage and specifically Scottish culture. Seeing this distinguishing element of Scottish culture in various parts of Africa and the Caribbean inevitably raised questions about how and why such similar patterns exist within the cloth and clothing artefacts of people who are thousands of miles away from Scotland on different continents.

This chapter will not only discuss the how and why of tartans travels but also the genesis of this research in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean and the importance of uncovering these often hidden or unacknowledged histories that reveal Scotland’s colonial past. The story of tartan’s journey across Africa and her Diaspora traverses four continents and many countries and details how people of African heritage once themselves considered to be commodities and tools of industry utilised the remnants of Empire to develop their own material cultures.

Official Website: https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-scotland-s-transnational-heritage.html
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Edinburgh University Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Research Groups > Historical and Cultural Studies
Date: 1 November 2022
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 14:22
Item ID: 19483
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/19483

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