May. 9, 2022

A Little Taste of Crazy

One reason researching for my writing is so much fun is because it teaches me about fashion, a subject upon which, according to My Lovely Wife Marsha, my children, close friends, and sometimes even random appalled strangers on the street, I am badly in need of education. Because of my recent writing about ancient Egypt, I naturally needed to study the clothing that they wore. One of the most common items was the shendyt.

The shendyt is a kilt that typically rode above the knees. Sometimes much higher, since the average temperature in Egypt throughout most of the year is in the mid-90s. For most peasant Egyptians in the Pre-dynastic and Early Kingdom periods, this was all they wore, male or female. Children and slaves often went naked. So little clothing was purchased that J.C. Penny suffered its first bankruptcy.

While it may surprise you that Egyptians were wearing kilts thousands of years before the Scottish, it may surprise you even more that Egyptians also had bagpipes first. These early bagpipes, which looked a lot like the musician was hugging a giant potato, are first hinted at in carvings dated about 1000 b.c., whereas Scottish bagpipes didn't come upon the scene until 2,300 years later.

One other similarity between Scots and ancient Egyptians: Both cultures had a passionate reverence for the heart, liver and lungs. In ancient Egypt, when one died, an embalmer would remove these organs and seal them in clay jars so that they could be placed in one's tomb and safely accompany one to the Afterlife. Which seems kind of crazy, since it seems the organs would have been able to make the journey just fine by remaining in one's body. However, in Scotland, they would grind the heart, liver and lungs of sheep together with diced onion and oatmeal to create a pudding called haggis. And EAT IT!

So in my opinion, Scotland wins the crazy race. And I will not be trying haggis any time soon. However, maybe I'll give the shendyt a try. As a fashion statement, maybe it'll catch on.

My Lovely Wife Marsha is shaking her head no.