Clan MacLeod Society of Australia (South Australia) Inc.
The wearing of a tartan identifies you with a clan or district. Some of our MacLeod tartans are very distinctive. The stand out tartan is of course, the yellow MacLeod, which is known as MacLeod of Lewis, or according to other sources, Dress MacLeod.
This tartan was invented by the Allen or Hay brothers in 1829 for their famous forgery, Vestiarium Scoticum. In fact they invented many of the tartans that various clans wear today.
Yellow had never been used as a background for any tartan before the publication of the Vestiarium.
The yellow MacLeod certainly elicits much comment. It has unkindly been called Loud MacLeod or even Horse Blanket MacLeod.
The other common MacLeod sett is the dark green MacLeod of Harris tartan. This was first published in a book called the Scottish Gael, by James Logan in 1831. This is one of innumerable tartans based on the Government, or Black Watch sett with overlayed stripes of various colours. Some others in this category are the Gordon, Lamont, Forbes and MacKenzie. The Harris Sett is sometimes referred to as Hunting MacLeod. It is interesting to note that the MacKenzies and MacLeods shared the same green sett until 1909. The green MacLeod tartan, was officially adopted by the Chief and Clan Society in that year.
The red Raasay tartan was recorded around 1845.
Our late Chief John MacLeod was very fond of the MacLeod (California) which was designed as recently as 1986.
Some of our MacLeod Tartans are older. There is a red MacLeod that was reconstructed from a portrait of Norman the 22nd Chief painted in 1748.
Tartan is constantly evolving with new designs appearing regularly.
There is no doubt that the story of MacLeod Tartan is not yet complete.
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