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sashes - traditionally and in practice

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  • ...

    Eike Albert-Unt June 13, 2006, 1:01 p.m. (Message 45531)

    Hi, just a quick question.  
    
    I hope it is on topic as it has to do with SCD dances. We do not demonstrate
    dances but we like to have good time and sometimes on a more festive evening
    we would like to dress up so that (a) boy(s) wear(s) a kilt and girls wear
    sashes. Our dancing group has now got hold of Estonian-Scottish tartan and
    we plan to make sashes for the girls. 
    
    Is there a rule, how wide a sash should be and HOW it should be worn? Do
    demo groups always wear it in a similar way? There are many websites and
    among them I found this one:
    
    http://www.clangregor.org/history-tartan-women.html#Wearing%20the%20Sash
    
    - which seems to be very strict. Especially if we look at the note, which
    says: "Members of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society have been granted
    permission by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to wear their sashes on the
    left shoulder. This is an honour bestowed upon the Society because she is
    their Patron."
    
    Does this mean that it is bad manners for non-members (as of yet) to wear a
    sash on the left shoulder?
    
    Humbly yours,
    Eike from Estonia
  • ...

    Anselm Lingnau June 13, 2006, 1:24 p.m. (Message 45532, in reply to message 45531)

    Eike Albert-Unt wrote:
    
    > Does this mean that it is bad manners for non-members (as of yet) to wear a
    > sash on the left shoulder?
    
    In a nutshell: Wear your sash whichever way you fancy, unless there is a 
    danger of running into anal-retentive retro-Scots who are sticklers for »the 
    rules«. (This danger mostly exists at highland games in the US of A.) If you 
    are an anal-retentive retro-Scot etc. yourself, wear it on the right shoulder 
    unless you are a clan chief or commanding officer of a Highland regiment, 
    spouse of such, or RSCDS-style country dancer, in which case wear it on the 
    left shoulder. Otherwise you might wrap it round your head in case you 
    encounter the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.
    
    There has been lots of discussion in this forum as to exactly why the late Dr 
    Milligan recommended the left shoulder for a lady's sash but as far as I 
    recall we didn't get to the bottom of it. It is best to let common sense 
    rule, such as when you're a formal demonstration team all the sashes should 
    be in the same position (and in Younger Hall, probably on the left shoulder).
    I have yet to attend an event where ladies had to present their RSCDS cards to 
    prove the appropriateness of their sash shoulder.
    
    Anselm
    -- 
    Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
    If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but deteriorate the
    cat.                                                             -- Mark Twain
  • ...

    Pia Walker June 13, 2006, 2:10 p.m. (Message 45534, in reply to message 45532)

    Amen
    
    Except - are Bugblatters of scottish descent?
    
    You have to come to YOunger Hall these days Anselm - they don't even wear
    white dresses anymore - although the men still wear kilts :>)
    
    Eike - wear it any which way you want - I have started to wrap it round my
    middle - belt style - hides a multitude of sins {choclate, cream puddings,
    middleage spreads etc).
    
    I once saw a lady in America wear a sash hiding her dress neckline to the
    front, fastened with two brooches - one on each shoulder - with the ends
    hanging down her back - that looked fantastic.
    
    For dem. purposes, we wear the sash folded - one end longer than the other -
    gathered with a brooch and fastened to a shoulder - the same side shoulder
    for all and one end carried over to the opposite side on the back - it looks
    good when dancing when the end of the sash flows freely behind you.
    
    I personally do not like the wrap around style, where you start at a
    shoulder and cross over the front to end up back at the same shoulder - it
    is all right if you are flat as a board, but the minute you have curves both
    in expected and unexpected places - you can bet your last dollar that the
    sash will sit and emphasize just there.
    
    Pia
  • ...

    Jill Herendeen June 13, 2006, 5:44 p.m. (Message 45538, in reply to message 45534)

    Well, I vote for going back to the "old days" when it was O.K. for women to 
    look like women rather than teenage boys, regardless of the sash-wearing 
    question.  But the around-the-torso methods may become more popular as the 
    cost of heating goes up, at least in winter...
    Toodle-pip--Jill in Lyons, NY
  • ...

    Jill Herendeen June 13, 2006, 5:52 p.m. (Message 45539, in reply to message 45534)

    Also, the wrap-around-the-torso style needs a LONGER sash in order to have 
    any long loose end to float gracefully behind as one dances (unless, 
    perhaps, one is constructed like a beanpole).  Try it and see. --Jill in 
    Lyons
  • ...

    hways June 13, 2006, 5:12 p.m. (Message 45537, in reply to message 45532)

    Anselm, when were you last at any highland games in the US of A?
    
    Harry Ways
  • ...

    Eike Albert-Unt June 13, 2006, 1:32 p.m. (Message 45533, in reply to message 45531)

    Thank you ;-) Just needed an opinion. We discussed it here and came to think
    that since it is Estonian-Scottish tartan, then we actually are entitled to
    wear it on left shoulder as we are members of the clan. :-) If someone of us
    is married to a foreigner and wants to keep the tartan, then she can wear it
    on a right shoulder. :-)
    
    Cheers!
    It is almost 30 degrees in Tallinn today!
    Eike
  • ...

    Eike Albert-Unt June 13, 2006, 2:12 p.m. (Message 45535, in reply to message 45531)

    Thanks Pia!
    :-)
  • ...

    Bryan McAlister June 13, 2006, 2:57 p.m. (Message 45536, in reply to message 45531)

    No it means it's complete tosh, like a lot of the other houghmagandie 
    associated with shops that sell things to tourists and like to pretend 
    that so called clan chiefs, and miscellaneous royals have some relevance 
    so they can rip you off - wear a colour  and style that suits you any 
    way you like.
    
    In message <xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxx.xxx.xxx.xx>, 
    Eike Albert-Unt <xxxx.xxxxxx-xxx@xxx.xx> writes
    >Hi, just a quick question.
    >
    >I hope it is on topic as it has to do with SCD dances. We do not demonstrate
    >dances but we like to have good time and sometimes on a more festive evening
    >we would like to dress up so that (a) boy(s) wear(s) a kilt and girls wear
    >sashes. Our dancing group has now got hold of Estonian-Scottish tartan and
    >we plan to make sashes for the girls.
    >
    >Is there a rule, how wide a sash should be and HOW it should be worn? Do
    >demo groups always wear it in a similar way? There are many websites and
    >among them I found this one:
    >
    >http://www.clangregor.org/history-tartan-women.html#Wearing%20the%20Sash
    >
    >- which seems to be very strict. Especially if we look at the note, which
    >says: "Members of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society have been granted
    >permission by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to wear their sashes on the
    >left shoulder. This is an honour bestowed upon the Society because she is
    >their Patron."
    >
    >Does this mean that it is bad manners for non-members (as of yet) to wear a
    >sash on the left shoulder?
    >
    >Humbly yours,
    >Eike from Estonia
    >
    >
    >
    >
    
    -- 
    Bryan McAlister
  • ...

    Chris Collin June 13, 2006, 8:30 p.m. (Message 45541, in reply to message 45531)

    Eike Albert-Unt wrote:
    
    >Hi, just a quick question.
    >
    With many, not so quick, answers!
    
    >  
    >Is there a rule, how wide a sash should be and HOW it should be worn? Do
    >demo groups always wear it in a similar way? There are many websites and
    >among them I found this one:
    >
    >http://www.clangregor.org/history-tartan-women.html#Wearing%20the%20Sash
    >
    >- which seems to be very strict.
    >
    
    Well, you have to understand how society worked years ago.  People had a 
    civil "rank" - a man was not always (nor even usually) a gentleman, and 
    a woman was not the same thing as a lady.  The terms "lady" and 
    "gentleman" had a meaning that is now mostly lost.  A "normal" man would 
    be a yeoman, while his superior would be a gentleman, typically someone 
    of good education, and often, but not always, of some means as well.  
    Above these people would be those with more formal titles (the peers). 
    
    Nowadays, these distinctions between people have all but disappeared.  
    It is still seen in the UK, and some countries preserve titles, and 
    others heraldic bearings.  But, most democracies treat everyone as 
    equal, and these class distinctions of old no longer hold sway.
    
    Thus, in earlier times, people would wear clothing appropriate to their 
    rank, as the website cited shows.  This extended to ladies as well, as 
    the chart shows.  But, how many even know how to recognize a clan chief, 
    let alone his wife?  (The answer - 3 feathers behind his badge, which is 
    also not encircled by a belt).
    
    So, what do we do?  Well, if you wish to preserve the forms of old, you 
    would wear the sash on the right shoulder, unless you are a country 
    dancer, where you wear it on the left.  If you do not care about such 
    things, you could wear them any which way you wish, which seems to be 
    the advice of the majority.  Those, whom I suspect might wear feathers 
    in their bonnets, without realizing what they mean. 
    
    >Does this mean that it is bad manners for non-members (as of yet) to wear a
    >sash on the left shoulder?
    >  
    >
    Some would say yes, others no.  It is much like those whom wear a tuxedo 
    to a wedding held in the morning.  There is no rule that says they 
    cannot, but custom suggests that it is inappropriate.  Customs suggests 
    wearing a sash in an appropriate manner as well, IMHO.  You can never be 
    faulted for wearing it correctly, and while most simply do not care, 
    there are those "anal-retentive" people out there (like ME!  :) who will 
    notice, even if they may say nothing.
    
    Now, as for women wearing kilts....
    
    ;)
    
    Chris Collin
    Ottawa, Canada

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