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A Scottish clan (from Gaelic clann, "children") is a kinship group among the Scottish people. Clans give a sense of shared identity and descent to members, and in modern times have an official structure recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon, which regulates Scottish heraldry and coats of arms. Most clans have their own tartan patterns, usually dating from the 19th century, which members may incorporate into kilts or other clothing.
The modern image of clans, each with their own tartan and specific land, was promulgated by the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott after influence by others. Historically, tartan designs were associated with Lowland and Highland districts whose weavers tended to produce cloth patterns favoured in those districts. By process of social evolution, it followed that the clans/families prominent in a particular district would wear the tartan of that district, and it was but a short step for that community to become identified by it.
Many clans have their own clan chief; those that do not are known as armigerous clans. Clans generally identify with geographical areas originally controlled by their founders, sometimes with an ancestral castle and clan gatherings, which form a regular part of the social scene. The most notable gathering of recent times was "The Gathering 2009", which included a "clan convention" in the Scottish parliament.
It is a common misconception that every person who bears a clan's name is a lineal descendant of the chiefs. Many clansmen although not related to the chief took the chief's surname as their own to either show solidarity, or to obtain basic protection or for much needed sustenance. Most of the followers of the clan were tenants, who supplied labour to the clan leaders. Contrary to popular belief, the ordinary clansmen rarely had any blood tie of kinship with the clan chiefs, but they took the chief's surname as their own when surnames came into common use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Thus by the eighteenth century the myth had arisen that the whole clan was descended from one ancestor, with the Scottish Gaelic of "clan" meaning "children" or "offspring".

  • 05:47 Popular Scottish Clans

    Scottish Clans

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    Clans Of Scotland; Clan Cameron, Clan Campbell, Clan Chisolm, Clan Colquhon, Clan Cummings, Clan Colquhon, Clan Cummings, Clan Davidson, Clan Drummond, Clan Farquharson, Clan Forbes, Clan Fraser, Clan Gordon, Clan Graham, Clan Grant, Clan Kennedy, Clan La

  • 09:47 Popular Highland Clans - Episode 5 - Fraser (3/ 3)

    Highland Clans - Episode 5 - Fraser (3/ 3)

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    Clan Fraser (Scottish Gaelic: Clann Frisealach, French: Clan Fraiser) is a Scottish clan of French origin. The Clan has been strongly associated with Inverness and the surrounding area since the Clan's founder gained lands there in the 13th century. Since

  • 02:51 Popular Great Scottish Clans

    Great Scottish Clans

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    Millions of people across the world are descended from The Great Clans of Scotland. They share a unique and wonderful heritage with a rich culture and a instantly recognisable identity. Clan Origins is presented by the award winning Scottish author and br

  • 05:06 Popular Scottish Clans #2 - Clan MacLeod

    Scottish Clans #2 - Clan MacLeod

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    I give you some basic info about the awesome Clan MacLeod including info about their tartan, the best castles to visit if you're a member and who their founder was. Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAe8Kg53mkU http://www.clanmacleod.org/about-macl

  • 59:14 Popular BBC Reporting Scotland Friday 19th September 2014

    BBC Reporting Scotland Friday 19th September 2014

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    BBC Reporting Scotland from Friday 19th September 2014 the day the result of the Scottish independence referendum was announced.

  • 01:07 Popular The Water Horse Legend From The Deep -extract

    The Water Horse Legend From The Deep -extract

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    Some says the creature back from time to time looking for his friends, some claims to have seen it over the years but the boy never saw it again...

  • 06:38 Popular The Selkirk Settlers; Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl Of Selkirk

    The Selkirk Settlers; Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl Of Selkirk

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    In the 18th century, Thomas Douglas, fifth Earl of Selkirk, became the unexpected support for displaced families who were evicted from their homes in Scotland during the period known as "The Highland Clearances." Through his determination and their courag

  • 14:14 Popular Scottish Borders Legends...The Black Douglas

    Scottish Borders Legends...The Black Douglas

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    a man talks about the life of Scotlands fiercest ever warrior the Black Douglas. Also the site of ancient Scottish fortress Roxburgh Castle is investigated.