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ESSAY Scottish Heritage Southern Style by Celeste Ray uring the past four decades, growing interest in Americans' cultural and ancestral ties to Scodand has produced hundreds of new clan and heritage societies and a steadily increasing number ofScottish Highland games. Scottish American ethnic awareness and organization has had odier, briefer, periods of popularity in our nation's history. However, the growth of Scottish cultural groups and gadierings has proved most dramatic in die late-twentieth-century South, where a unique and distincdy regional style flavors events and perceptions of Scottish origins. Today, approximately half of all Scottish American societies base their associations in the Soudi and more than one-third of the over two hundred annual Highland games/Scottish festivals occur in the region.1 The popularity of the Scottish-heritage movement in the South is pardy due to its double celebration of a "reclaimed" Scottish edinicity and its particular relationship to southern regional identity. Southern Scottish-heritage societies emphasize kinship and bill clan society activities as family reunions. Scottish Highland games in the South are more likely to have barbecue stands, fiddle competitions , and time designated for religious events. At southern games, singers perform the Scottish tune "Bonnie Dundee" with the Confederate lyrics "Riding a Raid," reenactors combine Confederate jackets and caps widi their Scottish kilts, and bagpipe band renditions of "Dixie" leave crowds eidier cheering, in tears, or both. American celebrations of Scottish heritage draw on romantic nineteenthcentury interpretations of Highland manners and Scottish identity—a mythic Scottish past that in the Soudi blends harmoniously with nostalgic visions of antebellum southern society and the Lost Cause. Celebratory and commemorative reflections on ancestral experience commonly merge historical realities, religious inheritance, and folk memories with selected (and often invented) traditions to interpret the past in a form meaningful for the present. Southerners take to the Scottish-heritage movement so well because its present form draws on parallel mythologies, rather than actual cultural continuities, that underlie the construc28 tion of both Scottish and soudiern identities . Bodi derive from perceived historical injuries, strong attachments to place and kin, and links between militarism and religious faith, and both have produced symbolic material cultures. Scottish-heritage celebration in the South offers alternative interpretations of "southernness ." In heritage lore, the southern experience and identity unfold in continuous tradition from Scottish culture and history, rather than from a relationship to slavery or Jim Crow. Members of the southern Scottish American community are of the generations that experienced desegregation and die reinvention of the new South. By attributing southern distinctiveness to Scottish roots, a post-Civil Rights movement celebration of "southernness" takes on an uncontroversial, multicultural dimension focused on ethnic identity rather than race relations. Mourning the Old Soudi's defeat or displaying die Confederate batde flag acquires less problematic meanings in the Scottish-heritage context. The "new southerner " involved in Scottish heritage is no longer just a white, Anglo southerner, but an ethnically Celtic southerner with odier reasons for being different and unassailable justification for celebrating that difference. CarlFord combines Confederate and Scottishgarb at the Biloxi, Mississippi, Scottish Games <¿? Celtic Festival, October 1996. Photograph by author. HIGHLANDISM AND THE FORGING OF IDENTITY THROUGH DEFEAT The Scottish American community celebrates a conception of Scottishness engendered largely by the poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott long after the ancestors of many Scottish Americans had left Scodand. The celebrated heritage is that of one region of Scodand: the Highlands. How die Highlands came to represent the whole ofScodand is quite similar to the way in which plantation owners came to represent southerners generally. As southern identity focuses on the Lost Cause ofLee and Davis, the Scottish identity of southern Scottish Americans centers on the lost cause of Bonnie Scottish Heritage Southern Style 29 Prince Charlie, whose bid to regain the British throne for the Stuart dynasty ended in 1746 on a Scottish moor called Culloden. Chief among the Jacobites who had supported Charles Edward Stuart against the Hanoverians were the Highland Scots. Although the Highlanders were the most ardentJacobites, Charlie 's defeat resulted in second-class status within Britain for all Scots, and Scotland itselfbecame merely "North Britain" for over a century. As in the American South, cultural attributes of the vanquished, once no longer a threat, became idealized. Post-Culloden legal proscriptions against Highland cultural expression banned tartan as a symbol ofJacobitism and oudawed bagpipes as "instruments ofwar." Yet, ironically, the fetishism of Highland culture followed these prohibitions. What the Hanoverian government labeled the dress oftraitors, and Lowland Scots had previously associated with cattie thieves, became the Scottish national dress. Lowlanders forsook the ancient Highland/ Lowland cultural divide to don tartan and an elaborate and accessorized version of the kilt. Nineteenth-century Scodand cultivated a particular type ofromanticism called Highlandism, or Balmoralism after Queen Victoria's Highland castie. Sir Walter Scott's writings ennobling the hitherto "savage" Highlander, and the subsequent Balmoralism, promoted the well-known militaristic image ofthe Scot not only as a Highlander but as a bagpiping, kilted soldier. Through the romance of Highlandism , all Scots became defeatedJacobites and Highlanders. It is this image that represents the identity that Americans of Lowland Scots, Scots-Irish, and Highland Scots ancestry alike have "reclaimed" in the heritage movement. It is this identity that articulates well with white southern identity in Scottish-heritage celebration . Created by the battie-driven histories of Scodand and the South, both cultural stereotypes exhibit a certain inventiveness in explaining away defeat by emphasizing die virtues and chivalry ofthe losers and die romance oflost causes. In southern Scottish-heritage celebration, "Scottish" heritage incorporates the main themes of the Old South Mydi—themes originally borrowed^/row Scottish Highlandism. THE INTEGRATION OF PARALLEL LOST CAUSES In both the southern and Scottish cases, military defeats become symbolic of the loss of distinctive agrarian ways of life. Folk models position the South's defeat as the end of an aristocratic, privileged, and care-free world for people who valued the extended family and maintained a love ofthe land and a sense ofplace. Likewise, the Battle ofCulloden marks the demise ofHighland Gaelic society and a romanticized, though not prosperous, way oflife for a people with clan ties to specific hills and glens. These defeats have become not merely significant in regional histories, but the dates after which everything changed for the worse. 30 CELESTE RAY Southern antebellum houses, fashions, and manners always stand in opposition to die Reconstruction era. During the forty years following Culloden, legal proscriptions against tartan, bagpipes, and communal clan land ownership accompanied the advent of exorbitant rents and large-scale emigration. Highlanders' sufferings during these years occupy a place in Scottish-heritage literature and event oration comparable to that of Reconstruction in the lore ofthe South. In both the plantation legend and Highlandism, the failures ofthe Confederacy and ofPrince Charlie appear to cause major social and economic changes that nonedieless were well underway at the time of the events. Yet the myths portray both the Highland clan system and southern society as functioning smoothly until die dramatic demise oftheir respective causes at Culloden and Appomattox. The harmonious, pristine, and unchanging nature imputed to plantation and Highland ways of life in commemorative rituals, song, and conversation intensifies indignation at their loss. Southerners comforted themselves in defeat by imagining a noble past, a chivalric pre-war arcadia quite different from northern industrial capitalism. The Highland way of life likewise acquired such romantic associations that even its privations polished nicely into stereotypically Highland sensibility, thriftiness, and efficiency. In Scottish-heritage lore, Culloden is the reason for broken clan ties and the forced exile of Americans' gallant Jacobite ancestors; in southern lore, the Civil War explains "the fall" of illustrious ancestors and their forced removal from the plantation. Hence, within the southern Scottish American community, "heritage " entails a double sense ofloss. Discussion ofgenealogical research explores what might be now had it just not been for event X in one's southern or Scottish past. Already familiar with Lost Cause rhetoric and dispossession themes, soudierners easily incorporate the experiences of"wronged" Scottish ancestors. It is a central premise in today's heritage lore that the majority of colonial Scottish immigrants fled their homeland as political refugees after Culloden in what is called the Scottish diaspora. Scottish American beliefs that post-Culloden hardships resulted in ancestral immigration inculcate a certain sense of loss and injury— both for the transgenerational loss of a cultural heritage and homeland, and through a revived sense ofindignity over ancestral sufferings.John Shelton Reed suggests that white soudierners traditionally stand in a certain relationship to the Soudi's Lost Cause and share what he calls a "grievance identity" because ofthat stance.2 Such an identity finds a corollary in these particular southerners' "other" heritage of a Scottish identity constructed after Culloden and also grounded in defeat. Taking on a "Scottish" identity, southerners of Highlander, Lowlander, or Scots-Irish backgrounds stand togedier on one side of another lost cause, "remember " the wrongs done to the Highlanders, and feel the pique, sometimes Scottish Heritage Southern Style 3 1 passionately, diat die injury still smarts. Grievances of southern Scottish Americans include the saga of legal, economic, and cultural repression of Highlanders, die Hanoverian Duke of Cumberland's butchery, and subsequent eviction and forced emigration; southern stories relate parallel grievances ofSherman's March, Republican-implemented "reconstruction," and carpetbaggers. These are often integrated and subtiy compared in campfire storytelling and song at Highland games, in heritage publications, at public rituals, and in general discourse about ancestral experience. A further lament combining southern and Scottish grievances is the tenet diat the Civil War deprived the South ofits Scottishness. In North Carolina, home to the largest colonial settlement of Highland Scots, the use of die Gaelic language for religious services does seem to have ceased after the Civil War.3 Following the war, "Scotch fairs" (agricultural fairs) degenerated to occasions for gambling and heavy drinking until dieir abolition about 1 871. Community members suggest that Scottish consciousness succumbed to die overarching implications of the war and die new identity forged by that experience. According to heritage philosophy, coping with the war's devastation meant sublimating Scottish ethnicity , not to an American identity but to a new southern unity. The significance of Culloden faded since most everyone had lost someone in the War of Northern Aggression. These rationales pardon ancestors for "forgetting to remember." Since heritage lore claims Scottish ancestors did not desert the ancient clan homelands for adventure or profit, but under persecution, they may not be accused of forsaking a heritage that their descendants now value. Those ancestors involved with die Civil War are no less forgiven—their experience being an inheritance itself. Heritage celebration entails reverencing the ancestors; romanticized grievances maintain their venerability in public memory. That a heritage lost was forcibly lost makes its reclaiming particularly potent. As with Highlandism in Scodand, the plantation legend has become systemic in a soudiern sense ofidentity and in die world's conceptions ofAmerican southernness . To let go of grievances at this point, in eitiier die Scottish or southern case, would be to let go of the romance as well. Attempts at revising regional identities, even grievance-based identities, are not often popular, especially when such identities have endeared their possessors to the outside world in legend, in public culture, and through tourism. THE SOUTHERN TAKE ON THE SIR WALTER METHOD Highlandism developed between 1780 and i860 widi die major thrust ofBritain 's empire building. Drawing on antebellum origins, southern postbellum lore developed mosdy between 1880 and die first quarter ofthe 1900s. While contem32 CELESTE RAY porary southerners recognize the familiar feel and language ofScottish heritage, they credit this to cultural continuity, and, well, heritage. Southern myths are indeed built on a Scottish model, but not of a continuous tradition. Southern myths assumed a model widi which soudierners were already well acquainted—die model created through Highlandism and the writings of Sir Walter Scott. Southerners named pets, plantations, and die occasional child after characters and places in Scott's novels. They generally identified with Scott's chivalrous casde- and glen-dwelling characters, who exhibited the best ofcourdy manners and hospitality, viewing diem as models rather than as ancestors. The motifs of Highlandism yielded many parallels for southerners based on assumed spiritual and intellectual kinship rather than "heritage" as is claimed today. Making aristocrats of patriarchal chieftains, Scott medievalized and feudalized what had been a nonfeudal, pastoralist society in the Scottish Highlands. Southern mythologizing likewise revised a slave society into a courdy realm ofknighdy lords and beautiful belles. The images and traditions made famous by Scott's Waverley novels provided a favorable analogy to fairly self-sufficient southern plantations in the Cameloting of the Old South. The chivalric moonlight-andmagnolias depiction of antebellum southern society evoked many of die same values and diemes as Highlandism. The lore of the Scottish-heritage movement in the Soudi has been over two centuries in the making. Romantic constructs developed in Highlandizing die Scottish identity proved popular with soudierners, who drew from them in idealizing their own Lost Cause. This process produced many apparent similarities between the Scottish Highlands and die antebellum South that Scottish-heritage celebration, and some scholarship, stretches to suggest cultural continuity between the American South and Celtic lands.4 Southerners are argued to be more Scottish than northern Scottish Americans because of these "authenticating" cultural ties claimed to extend hundreds, even thousands, ofyears. Certainly Scottish immigrants did contribute to southern culture, but as in the creation of the Old South model, die impact ofSir Walter Scott and Highlandism in current heritage lore cannot be overemphasized. Scott's influence was much the same in effect in Scodand and in the American South. In Scodand it offered a Highland regional identity diat appealed to the Scottish nation. In the Soudi it flavored a postbellum regionalism that appealed to both northerner and soutiierner. The romanticization of the Highlands and die South was a relieffrom the tragic consequences ofboth civil conflicts. It provided a means for reacceptance, as well as remasculinization, of the defeated as representatives ofpast, but idyllic, ways oflife. Scottish Heritage Southern Style 3 3 A HIGHLANDER AND A GENTLEMAN The stereotypical image ofa Scot as a bagpiping, kilted soldier finds masculine parallels in the characters of southern myth. The Highland soldier is not unlike the military model of the southern gallant: a gentieman and a colonel. Highlanders and .southern men have somehow become both heroic in defeat and famed for loyal military service to their former enemies following those defeats. Both the South and the Scottish Highlands have disproportionately contributed to their national militaries since their respective disasters. While the SpanishAmerican War allowed southerners to reaffirm their American patriotism, Scottish Highlanders often took "the king's schilling" rather than face emigration, and their role in British empire-building aided tiieir conversion through Highlandism from traitors to loyal "King's men." "Having been enshrined in dieir lost cause," writes Nina Silber, "southern men seemed to be permanendy cast in a military mold."5 Likewise, the Highlander, once defeated, is perpetually dressed for battie with claymore in hand. These male icons, prominent in both southern and Scottish mythologies stemming from defeat, are isomorphic in southern Scottish-heritage celebration. Military professionals comprise a significant portion of the Scottish-heritage community in the South. They merge pride in career and American patriotism with pride in "family" heritage by combining military shirts, badges, and medals widi a kilt of dieir clan tartan. They may also choose from tartans designed for each branch of the U.S. military or opt for a general "U.S. Forces Tartan." Occasionally , event attire incorporates Confederate colors or even portions of Confederate uniforms. Military members of the southern Scottish community tend to be not just the rank and file, but members of the Army's Special Forces, the Navy Seals, and officers from various branches. By invitation, war veterans may join the national Scottish-American Military Society founded in 1 980 in North Carolina and headquartered in Charlotte. Members often credit dieir career paths and success to their Scottish and southern ancestry, which in heritage lore entails genetic and cultural tendencies to the "martial spirit." Heritage celebration compares and combines the legacies ofthese "war-like" but "noble and righteous" ancestors. Romanticization praises, yet tempers, southern and Highland bellicosity by directing it to the service of lost causes. Southern slave owners have transformed into gallant, chivalrous gentiemen, and Highlanders, once known to the outside world only as feuding bandits, are now "Prince Charlie's own loyal and gallant men," possessors of exemplary, noble virtues. The male ideal of southern Scottish heritage has developed as an alloy of the southern cavalier and the Highland warrior. The southern cavalier is important in southern visions of Scottish heritage as 34 CELESTE RAY left: Aproduct ofHighlandism: agentled warrior ofClan MacUchlan by RobertMclan in 184j. From R. R. Mclan andJames Ugan, The Clans ofthe Scottish Highlands: Costumes of the Clans (184/;AlfredKnopf, 1980). right: David IDysart ofKentucky displays a spiked targe andMclanesque attention to detail,July 199J. Photograph by author. a descendant, literally and spiritually, ofthe Highland clansmen. Scottish heritage enthusiasts celebrate this link as newly discovered, yet it actually appears in an earlier period of southern myth-making. Heritage lore posits the eclipse ofScottish identity in the Soudi by the Civil War, yet D. W. Griffith's 191 5 Birth ofa Nation demonstrates the survival of its less palatable associations. Eulogizing the Old Soudi and describing the origins ofthe Ku Klux Klan (???), Griffith originally tided his film The Clansman after its inspiration, a 1905 novel by the Reverend Thomas Dixon. The film links the kkk's use ofa flaming cross to a similar device used by Highland chiefs for summoning clansmen to battle. Griffith's derivation argument is not well known within the Scottish American community; it is only the older members who indicate concern about the recent popularization of a public ritual incorporating the fiery cross at southern Highland games. In a ritual gathering of the clans on the evening before the games, representatives of each participating clan society symbolically answer the "summons " to their heritage. Positioned on the games field in the shape of a St. Andrew 's Cross, they carry flaming torches to be tossed onto a central bonfire as they announce their clan's presence at the games. Participants seem unaware of the implications such an event might have had in Griffith's day. In fact, heritage Scottish Heritage Southern Style 3 5 Retired and active military men "pulla coin check" at the GrandfatherMountain Games in North Carolina,July 199;. Coins received on achieving a certain military status are to be carried at alltimes; in the eventuality that oneperson does not have the coin, allpresent are owed a drink. Photograph by author. lore leaves a gap in southern-Scottish awareness between the Civil War and the "revival" of the latter twentieth century. However, today's Scottish heritage participants do explicidy distinguish clan from "klan" and link southerner and Highlander predominandy through ideal male virtues. ICONOGRAPHY: TARTAN AND THE CONFEDERATE FLAG Material expressions of identity, lost causes, and die whole mythologies of Highlandism and the Old South meld in die combination oftartan and the Confederate flag. As markers of cultural identity, these icons visually reference the Highland and Old South legends, the concept of clan as family, and regional heritage . Both have come to symbolize "eras" that met widi dramatic ends and "forgotten " parts of the American experience. Tartan and flag combine at Scottishheritage events in the reclaiming of identities once suppressed "for the greater good." As descendants of Scottish settlers replaced Scottish with southern identities , dieir descendants supplanted bodi identities widi a reaffirmed sense of American patriotism during the world wars. Post-World War II heritage revivals developed in the new high of American superpower status and evidence die resurgence ofregionalism following the unifying experience ofthatwar. Today, diose claiming a Scottish identity or displaying a Confederate flag do not consider themselves unpatriotic. Rather, the identities represented by the flag and the tartan embody diose values that participants now feel make them "better" Americans. Commonly called plaid by most Americans, tartan is a badge of membership within the Scottish community, and one's choice of tartan signifies both clan affiliation and knowledge of clan and Scottish history. The link between clan name and tartan pattern, or sett, is largely a nineteenth-century innovation. Originally an effective merchandising strategy in the Balmoralism craze and in tourism, the association between clan name and sett has nonetheless become traditional. Tartan 36 CELESTE RAY A colorguardfrom the Scottish-American Military Society leads a "Tartan Parade" as thepipe-band followingplays "Dixie." First annual Culloden, Georgia, Highland Games, 199;. Photograph by author. is omnipresent at heritage events, and in diis context, it symbolically evokes the whole history and mythology of die eighteendi-century Highlanders' experience, the loss of diis heritage, and its reclaiming. Each clan tartan has come to represent a unique clan story, and telling and debating these stories is part ofwearing the tartan. After discovering their clan tartan , many participants first learn about things-Scottish through the history ofthe clan with which they share a surname and, by enthusiastic extension, "a kinship." Soudiern Scottish-heritage events evidence a greater emphasis on clan and kinship than do those in die North or West. The Scottish American community is organized into general heritage societies and specific clan societies. Membership in the latter allows one to "rediscover" one's "cousins." Participants join clan societies that bear their surname or that of an ancestor. Members often assume that even those sharing names derived from occupations such as "Smith" or "Forrester " are necessarily kin. Actually, the large numbers of MacDonalds or MacNeils stem not from remarkable ancestral fecundity, but from the progenitors of today's MacDonalds or MacNeils allying themselves widi a clan chief of diat name at a time when most people did not need last names. Though the clan system was historically Highland, diose with surnames ofLowland origin now form Scottish Heritage Southern Style 37 Clan MacFieparades their "Clan Commander" as an honored Highlandgamesguest, October 199;. Pendants attached to the clan's tartan banner note the battles in which the MacFies haveparticipated. Some southern clan branches also commemorate Civil War batiksfought by southern bearers ofthe clan name. Photograph by author. clan societies—somethingwhich, alongwith the wearingoftartan, would dismay their revered ancestors. At southern Highland games, clan tents overshadow the actual athletic competitions . These tents display artifacts, books, and interpretation related to clan history. They also serve to recruit new members. First-time visitors to the games locate relevant tents to learn about their "family" history, and clan society members stop by their tents to visit with their "cousins" and chat about genealogy. At large southern games such as those held at Stone Mountain near Adanta or the South's premier games at Grandfather Mountain in Linville, North Carolina, well over one hundred clans represent themselves on the games fields. Even at small southern games, clan tents are the central focus. In contrast, northern games may field fewer than a dozen clan tents, and in Scodand, clan tents are not a part of Highland games. The southern emphasis on "blood kinship" within the clan is a further elaboration of Highlandism: not only does each clan have a specific tartan , but all who wear the tartan are "kin." Pedigree-conscious southerners may obtain one through Scottish heritage. Simply by having a Scottish last name one acquires new "kin" through clan membership , an ancient and illustrious past, and a new sense ofplace in a "homeland" one may never visit—the historic landscapes of the clan lands. As southern mythologizing supplies an elite, planter background and great house for those whose ancestral greatness is no longer apparent "because of the War," Scottish 38 CELESTE RAY heritage lore enhances the "backgrounds" ofthose planters with chieftains in the "family" tree and casdes in die "family" lands. Associating clan with kin means that tartan operates as a type of heraldry. By donning a tartan one claims the heroic deeds of clansfolk as one's own heritage and the aristocrats ofthe clan as one's own "cousins." Within die community, tartan immediately distinguishes one not only as a Scottish American but as a Buchannan, Campbell, or Cameron. The wearer of tartan becomes a bearer of the clan reputation. Consciousness of clan history leads to awareness of "traditional " clan enemies—also identifiable by the tartans they sport. As clan feuds are researched and discussed by participants, they are born again, in a more playful way, on the Scottish Highland games field. The large-scale Scottish-heritage movement in the American South is such a relatively new thing that being the first of one's family to rediscover the family Scottish heritage elicits congratulations rather than condescension as might be expected. Newly reborn Scots tend to place a special emphasis on die long loss oftradition and on ancestral grievances. Those claiming Scottish origins after discovering a Scottish surname in their genealogies also tend to display tartan with more enthusiasm dian those with a transgenerational awareness of their Scottish ancestry. Southerners come to their Scottish roots in different ways, but what they share is a lifetime awareness of their southern identity—a kind of primary ethnic identity upon which die Scottish identity layers. The familiar Confederate batde flag is also present at Highland games and heritage events on T-shirts or lapel pins, on bumper stickers, and side-by-side widi American and Scottish flags in clan society tents and in Highland games campgrounds . Believing their southern heritage to be an extension of their Scottish heritage, members of the southern-oriented Heritage Preservation Association describe their flag-bearing association T-shirts as appropriate attire for Scottish events. They emphasize the flag's incorporation of the Scottish flag's St. Andrew 's Cross, which is also a symbol, for many, of the Confederate states. Both tartan and the Confederate flag encode beliefs about ancestry, but a difference in their symbolic power is obvious. Though proscribed for nearly forty years, tartan regained acceptance through the British army's efforts to recruit Highlanders. In diat context, tartan was transformed from the garb of rebels to that ofvalorous Highland soldiers loyal to die Crown. The meaning of the Confederate flag, in contrast, is still a source of contention. Those who fly the flag at Scottish events speak of the South in romanticized terms: of the cult of chivalry and soudiern belles, "aristocratic" southern manners, and Bonnie Robert E. For them the Confederate flag symbolizes something quite different from what its detractors perceive; it symbolizes the Old Soutii as the product of their idealized Scottish ancestors' further idealized accomplishments and the loss of both Scottish and soudiern traditions. Likewise, tartan, gussied up in the nineteenth centuScottish Heritage Southern Style 39 Doug Ross exhibits his collection ofRoss Rifles, originally designed by a member ofhis clan. Uch Norman Highland Games, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1996. Photograph by author. ry, symbolizes the vision of Highland life from the Victorian period. Aldiough diose Highland Scots who came to die South adjusted dieir attire for the climate, the Scottish American adoption of Highland dress and distinctive tartan setts provides an iconography to a generalized—and more easily assumable—heritage. Southern states initiated the development of state tartans, the first being North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. In 1997 the interweaving of Scottish and southern heritage found bodi literal and symbolic expression with die Alabama introduction of a Confederate Memorial Tartan featuring a sett of Confederate gray and batde-flag red. In diis way, dirough costume and imagery, simplified visions of both "Highlandness" and "southernness" are comparable and blended by those raised on die latter. Southernness becomes an unproblematic outgrowth of ancestral proclivities. HERITAGE AND THE "FAITH OF THE FATHERS" Charles Reagan Wilson has called die ritual commemoration ofthe Lost Cause a civil religion.6 Southern Scottish heritage celebration might well be similarly labeled . The remembrance of both soudiern andJacobite lost causes employs religious metaphors in commemoration of secular events and artifacts that have acquired a sacred sense as heritage. 40 CELESTE RAY Wilson notes that Civil War artifacts have a "sacred aura"; similarly, those of dieJacobite period (locks ofBonnie Prince Charlie's hair, sheets on which he had slept, crystal glasses or jewelry with his image) are venerated as "relics" today. Contemporary images of Charlie and Flora MacDonald, the woman who helped him escape Hanoverian clutches, abound not only in Scottish representations of national identity (from touristic advertising to shortbread packaging), but also in heritage paraphernalia (in pictorial images "for the home," on desk sets and stationery, on CD jackets of "traditional" tunes, on tableware, and, of course, T-shirts). Like tartan and the Confederate flag, these images instandy invoke the whole oftheir respective heritage lores. The reverence and devotion accorded such symbols find more explicit expression in actual worship services focused on the heritage of faith. Scottish heritage events in the South often have religious, especially Presbyterian, portions that affirm the importance of faith in a secular age and link faithfulness to ancestral virtues. Such events show the influence of southern Protestantism in the use of evangelical language and references to "finding" or "coming to" the heritage. Celebrants often speak ofthis discovery as a conversion experience. Community members claim "converts" and like to be acknowledged for "shepherding" new members into "the Scottish fold." Just as responding to God's will is answering, heeding, or hearing "the call," so too does one "hear the call" to one's own heritage. Heritage language also mixes military with religious metaphors. The emphases on Presbyterianism and military prowess combine in the virtuous service of noble causes. The southern knight is a Christian soldier, and the Scottish Highlander ofheritage lore becomes both die ideal warrior andPresbyterian. Actually, Highlanders originally opposed Presbyterianism by fighting on the Crown's behalf against the Lowlander Covenanters. The history behind the heritage metamorphoses , however, in the southern construction ofScottish ethnicity. Southern Scottish-heritage events celebrate Covenanter-style Presbyterianism with new rituals ofHighlandism. Oudawed in die seventeendi century, Covenanters ' religious meetings, called "conventicles," took place illicitly, out-of-doors and surrounded by armed guards. Today, a worship service honoring Scottish ancestors , called a Kirkin' O' the Tartan, often takes place in an open field to emulate conventicles. Interestingly, the "guards" for these services are reenactors in the stereotyped tartan dress of Highland soldiers, who actually attacked Covenanters , and the Kirkin' concludes with a blessing ofdie tartan—the fabric Lowland Covenanters associated widi enmity. A further convolution involves the stressed link between religious faith and faidiful labors for lost causes. Fidelity to Prince Charlie made heroes of the Highlanders, but Prince Charlie was loyal to Catholicism, an attachment that had denied his father the crown. When history becomes heritage, Highland/Lowland and religious divisions Scottish Heritage Southern Style 41 vanish in die face of the more emotive Culloden. As nineteenth-century southerners perceived themselves loyal to their faith despite the moral issues involved in their lost cause, their descendants likewise hold religion very dear and very flexible. Celebrations of the past often blend exacdy what forebears found most divisive. In southern Scottish -heritage celebration, participants fuse portions of the past into a unified heritage built on collective, rather than specific, grievances; on a particular faith, rather than historic diversity; and upon warrior ethics that also suit "gentiemen." REVITALIZATION AND THE SOUTHERN VIEW OF SCOTTISH HERITAGE Just as their creation originally served social needs, the revival and elaboration of both Highlandism and the southern myths in conjunction show that the new South is not so done with the old. The movement to revive a "heritage lost" and efforts to maintain the grievance identities tiiemselves reveal a basic dissatisfaction with the order oftilings. The Scottish-heritage movement, as expressed in the American South, corresponds with what anthropologists call a revitalization movement : an intentional and organized attempt to create a more satisfying state of existence. In their conscious attempts to recreate community and retrieve a sense ofidentity or ethnicity that participants feel to be lost, heritage celebrations may be considered a response to post-modernity. But here Anthony Wallace's distinction between a revitalization movement and revivalism proves relevant. He defines the aim ofthe latter to be the "return to a former era of happiness, to restore a golden age, to revive a previous condition of social virtue."7 Celebrating the past and wanting to be in the past are vasdy different phenomena. Scottish-heritage celebration calls for a return only to ancestral "values " and the security that predecessors are presumed to have had in their identity —the type of security born in moments of societal drama. Today's drama comes from within and plays out in culture change rather than lost causes. Southern Scottish-heritage enthusiasts do not claim the South or theJacobites will rise again, but they do commemorate what they perceive to be southern and Scottish The annualNatcheí¿ Fall Pilgrimagepromotional brochure features models in tartan hoopskirt and child's Scottish Glengarry near an ancient southern oak and columnedplantation house. Courtesy ofNatche% Pilgrimage Tours. 42 CELESTE RAY virtues as instructive for the present and as secure moorings at a point in history in which change seems more rapid. By definition, mythologizing processes construct contrasts to the present. As a revitalization movement, the celebration ofScottish heritage in the South reflects what participants feel is happening to their own society, especially with regard to kin ties, faith, and gender identities. According to heritage tradition, Culloden dispersed die clans; derealization of the American labor force, which southerners resisted for so long, distances families from each other and from southerners' peculiar attachment to place. Heritage pilgrims join clan ("family") societies and visit places made sacred by dieir historic ancestral associations— both in the South and in the ultimate pilgrimage to the Scottish clan lands. The shape of heritage lore also echoes recent, dramatic changes in American gender roles. A central grievance ofclan societies is the legendary demise of the clan chief's paternal role and unquestioned authority following Culloden. The heritage movement's emphasis on southern and Scottish military traditions and on patriarchically structured clan societies portrays such masculine roles as both ancient and proper. Within the context ofScottish heritage, male identities are secure and their celebration is the most expressive. It is the men who wear tartan costumes and who are on display. Women, for whom true kilts are off-limits, have fewer options for exhibiting tartan in the Scottish style. However, southern women are blending traditions to develop new strategies for heritage dress. In Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, hostesses of antebellum home tours are increasingly incorporating their clan tartans in the costume of the hoopskirted belle. Stirred by the wake ofAlex Haley's Roots and the post-Civil Rights movement emphasis on diversity, contemporary interests in ethnicity and in genealogical hobbies figure significandy in celebrations of all alternative American identities. Scottish and southern identities do not mingle alone at southern Scottish heritage events. John Reed notes that "southerners are more likely to claim Indian ancestry than are nonsoutherners,"8 and Scottish-heritage events in the South are "ChiefChinubbie, " son ofthe chiefofboth Clan Macintosh and the Creek, greets visitors to the clan tent at the Stone Mountain Highland Games, Georgia, 199j. Photograph by author. Scottish Heritage Southern Style 43 Heritage commodifiea T-shirts forsale at the 1996 Guljport, Mississippi, Highland Games set "Moonlight andMagnolias" alongside a sword-waving Scottish "Uon Rampant. " Photograph by author. more likely to reference Native American heritage and ancestry than similar events in the North. Soudiern Scottish Americans might send dieir children to both Highland dancing competitions at Scottish games and Native American dancing competitions at southern Pow Wows. Native American trading, social, and kin links widi Scots find recognition in dress, reenactment, and story at southern Scottish gatherings. Scottish heritage is absorbed into die soudiern identity on the Old South model, but in die 1990s, even old mythologies can be further romanticized in a multicultural form. Focusing on the Highlandism and romanticization that underpin the soudiern Scottish-heritage movement serves not to explode myths or deconstruct invented traditions, but rather to emphasize how perceptions of the past influence not only celebration but also conceptions ofidentity and die present. Far from being escapist, romanticization ofpast failures and hardships secures a sense of self in times of change. The celebrated past, refined and polished, sets precedents for today in die guise of "heritage." In the soudiern celebration of Scottish heritage we see the syndiesis of two similar romantic traditions. Highlandism transformed the impoverished Scottish Highlands from a land of treacherous insurgents into one of the last bastions of true chivalry, gracious hospitality, and religious fortitude—somediing ofdie ideal that southerners claimed as their own after the Sir Walter model. The celebration of Scottish heritage in the South may overlook the Scottish Highland/Lowland cultural divide, but the division between die American North and South still plays a powerful role in the claiming ofidentity. NOTES i. Figures are based on Games listings annually compiled by Jim Finegan of the Clan MacLachlan Association ofNorth America. I include the following twelve states under the rubric 44 CELESTE RAY of "southern": Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. 2.John Shelton Reed, The Social Psychology ofSectionalism (University of North Carolina Press, 1983X83. 3.James MacDonald, "Cultural Retention and Adaptation Among Highland Scots" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 1993), University of Edinburgh Library. 4.See Grady McWhiney, Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South (University of Alabama Press, 1988); Grady McWhiney and Perry D. Jamieson, Attack and Die: Civil WarMilitary Tactics and the Southern Heritage (University of Alabama Press, 1982); James Michael Hill, Celtic Warfare (John Donald Publishers, 1986). 5.Nina Silber, The Romance ofReunion: Northerners and the South 186J-1900 (University of North Carolina Press, 1993), 173. 6.Charles Reagan Wilson, Baptised in Blood- The Religion ofthe Ust Cause (University of Georgia Press, 1980), 170. 7.Anthony Wallace, "Nativism and Revivalism," in Magic, Witchcraft and Religion, ed. Arthur Clehmann (Mayfield, 1985), 319-24. 8.John Shelton Reed, "The Cherokee Princess in the Family Tree," Southern Cultures 3 (Spring 1997): 1 11-1 3. Scottish Heritage Southern Style 45 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 28-45
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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