Capes and Kilts–Folk Clothing


Will Lord is my brother. I visited him at his University recently. He attends the University of the South, also known as Sewanee. Given its regal name, one would assume that the school is rich in tradition and folklore. One would be correct. The school was established in 1857. Given its small student body, many feel compelled to join fraternities and societies which each have their own collection of folklore. The school itself is full of legends. While walking around campus, I recorded him talking about famous locations, legends, etc. Walking around campus, I noticed men in capes and kilts.


Owen: What’s up with that?

Will: There’s a lot of societies I can’t tell you about. But the big ones, everyone knows, are Capes and Kilts. On Spring Weekend they wear the capes or kilts and march through campus.


I was visiting during a festival–Spring party weekend. This weekend is a time to show off school pride, so those that are members of the Order of Capes or Kilts don their traditional apparel for this particular weekend. This is a great example of things that are commonplace during a liminal time, a festival–but would surely look strange at another time (any class week) or to a stranger (me).