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The Western Isles were once glued together by little ships, the Birlinns. These were a long-lived adaptation of the old Viking longships, with the important addition of a rudder at the back. These were perfectly adapted for life in the west, being fast little vessels that could be rowed or sailed as the need demanded, and then light enough to be pulled ashore. Whether used for trade or war, these were the workhorses of the islanders.
The Birlinn on this kilt pin is set upon a West Highland battle sword, which was shorter than the more famous longswords and Claymores of the mainland and was perfect for use at sea. Both sword and ship here are inspired by many carved examples that can be found on the rich corpus of graveslabs that survive in the west.
This is slightly larger than our standard range of Kilt pins: measures 10cm by 3.5cm.
The kilt pin is worn on the front of a kilt to prevent it lifting.