A guide to the Clans and Tartans of Scotland: From Scottish Clan Information to Clan Merchandise, Handmade Kilts, Highland Outfits ... everything a true Scot should need and know.

The Sgain Dubh

Sgain DubhThe word Sgian Dubh comes from the Gaelic meaning ‘dark knife’. The highlanders adopted this small weapon after the Highland Dress Proscription Act, which came into effect after the battle of Culloden. This act made it illegal for Highlanders to bear arms of any sort. The relatively small size of the Sgian Dubh was deemed acceptable and it therefore became a popular utility knife.
Sgain DubhThe Sgian Dubh is worn tucked into the sock. This is another popular place for storing items such as pipes or reading glasses that are too long or delicate to be stuffed into the sporran. Traditionally it is worn on the left leg, however it is acceptable for ‘lefties’ to wear it on the other side. Sgian dubh handles are made from a variety of materials such as ebony or antler horn and decorated with jewels metal or leatherwork.