|FW: [ewing-assn] Clan Ewing vs EFA - Name Change Issue||roger settlemire||4/30/12 4:45 PM|
To all members of our Ewing group:
Rick Ewing and I thought that we were sending our e-mail messages to the Ewing Forum, but inadvertently sent our e-mails to each other only. We agree that our e-mail messages below discussing the Scottish Festivals/Scottish Games/etc. and the name change issue can go out to all Ewings on the Forum.
From: roger settlemire
Many thanks for your nice comments about my recent posting on the Scottish Games, etc. The people who really deserve to be congratulated are you and the other dedicated people that work the clan tents, the pipe and drum bands, and others to make these Scottish Festivals such great successes over the years in perpetuating Scottish heritage and culture. It was good to hear that you are the Director of Piping and Drumming for the Oklahoma Scottish Festival. That’s a big job! I believe that if more members of our Ewing group would attend just one Scottish Festival, they would go back again and again to recharge their “Scottish batteries”.
As Rick pointed out, the Scottish Festivals in America do not require “official recognition” from the Lord Lyon or anyone else in Scotland. Any group calling itself a “clan” followed by a Scottish-type name, such as those listed on the website http://www.scottishtartans.org/clanlink.html, can pay the fees for the tent space, and set up a “clan tent” with banners, flags and other paraphernalia with their clan name on it --- without official recognition. This is a “good thing” because any group can participate, have fun and celebrate their Scottish heritage --- without jumping through a bunch of hoops to get official recognition. In fact, most of the participants do not know whether their “clan” has “official recognition” or not and do not care. The main reason that people come to the Scottish games is to have a great time, and to soak up the “Scottish atmosphere” of the weekend.
I would disagree with Rick that the more correct label would be Clan Ewen for our Ewing group, particularly if he is suggesting that the Ewings participate in the Ewen Clan tent. Clan Ewen (of various spellings) seems to be a bunch of different clans originating in various places scattered over Scotland who do not have a common history or relationship with each other; but were “tossed in the same bucket” under the title of “Clan Ewen.”
The most recent research suggests that the Ewings seem to come from a single clan which originated as Clan Ewen of Otter based on the shores of Loch Fyne, but moved, as a single clan, about the year 1500 to Loch Lomond and thereafter became known as Clan Ewing. So our Clan Ewing was established more like 500 years ago.
There is no reason to believe that any of the other Clans Ewen/McEwens, etc. ever had any historical connection to Clan Ewing (or its predecessor name Clan Ewen of Otter).
Joining Clan Ewen at the Clan Ewen clan tent would just add to the confusion and perpetuate the “myth” that we are somehow connected to the other Clans Ewen and are part of one big Clan Ewen. Our Ewing identity would be so insignificant as to be “invisible.” In my opinion it would be a waste of time and effort to work at the Clan Ewen tent. [Perhaps our Ewing group can find a way to participate with our own clan tent or in some other way at these Scottish Games and Festivals at some future time. It would be fun and would publicize our name “Ewing”].
As you may have inferred, the ancient or medieval clan system has long since passed into history, and there may not be any “true clans” today. The word “clan” is now being used as one of the foremost symbols of Scottish heritage. In today’s world, especially America, the Ewings have as much right as just about any of the other “clans” to call themselves a “clan” --- namely “Clan Ewing.”
As I mentioned in my posting of 4/2/12, I am not advocating that we set up a separate “Clan Ewing” tent at this time. I am simply urging all of our Ewings to attend a Scottish Festival near their home.
* * * * *
In any event, our Ewing presence at Scottish Games is a side issue to the real issue as to whether the name of our Ewing group should be Clan Ewing or Ewing Family Association --- the subject of this Forum “thread.”
I brought up the prevailing use of the word “clan” at the Scottish Gatherings and Games in support of my contention that there was no legitimate reason for changing our Ewing name from “Clan Ewing” to “Ewing Family Association.”
You will recall that the leadership brought up the word “clan” in our name “Clan Ewing in America” as the reason for changing our name of many years because allegedly, “to some this evokes the very unsavory memory of a very different sort of ’Klan.’” (See page 63 in the August 2008 issue of the Journal).
Rick, as someone who has participated in many Scottish Festivals and observed Clan names emblazoned everywhere, I believe that you will agree with me that the word “clan” linked to a Scottish surname, such as “Ewing,” is a proud symbol of our Scottish heritage --- and does not evoke unsavory memories of another kind of 'Klan'.” Otherwise, if it did evoke such unsavory memory, neither of us, nor thousands of other people (Scots and “wanna bees”), would be enthusiastically attending Scottish Festivals year after year. We would not attend.
I doubt if our Chancellor would make such a statement (evoking unsavory memories) today, as he is now involved in the Clan Ewen/Clan Ewing proceedings before the Court of Lord Lyon in Scotland. (See page 78 of the February 2012 issue of the Journal).
The name “Clan Ewing” gives us instant identity and recognition as a group of Scottish heritage, and more accurately describes us as a clan group of families, many kindred, but some not necessarily all related by blood.
On the other hand, Ewing Family Association is a nondescript name that does not denote our Scottish heritage. We are not one family related by blood, as shown by the DNA results. Ewing Family Association is a complete misnomer.
The real issue is whether the name of our Ewing group should be “Clan Ewing,” or “Clan Ewing in America,” which instantly identifies us as being of Scottish heritage; or “Ewing Family Association,” which is a nondescript name in every respect.
The name “Clan Ewing” (or “Clan Ewing in America”) should be restored to its rightful place on our masthead.
From: Rick Ewing
I couldn't agree more with Roger on this subject. I have been attending Scottish heritage festivals since the mid-90s, with my first experience being in 1981. You will find these festivals listed as Highland Games, Highland Gatherings, Scottish Games, Scottish Festivals, and a variety of other monikers. But most are essentially the same, as outlined very well by Roger.
I would differ with Roger in that there is no Clan Ewing with regard to the Scottish clan system. Clan Ewing is strictly an American institution. The more correct label would be Clan Ewen. Some refer to Clan MacEwan also, which is technically wrong. And this, of course, is historical in nature since we don't actually have a clan as recognized by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs nor the Lord Lyon. With this being said, the other side of the coin is that anybody can buy tent space at a festival, assuming the festival allows, and set up for business. We could, as Clan Ewing in America or the Ewing Family Association, do the same. I think it would be a bit in bad manners to set up as Clan Ewing. But that is just my personal opinion.
But back to Roger's excellent exhortation of us to participate in some manner, I can't agree more. Just by purchasing a ticket we are participating. I am currently the Director of Piping and Drumming for the Oklahoma Scottish Festival. We usually have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 attendees over a weekend's activities. I will echo Roger's earlier sentiment and say experience it yourself. You won't be sorry you did.