Friday, January 1, 2010

Clan Mackinnon F.A.Q.

(1) What is the meaning of the name Mackinnon?

The name Mackinnon comes from the gaelic MacFhionghuin meaning "Son of Fingon," or more literally "Son of the Fair Born." Click here for more information on Mackinnon names.

(2) What is the motto of Clan Mackinnon?

Audentes Fortuna Juvat - This latin phrase means "Fortune Assists the Daring," though it is also alternatively translated as "Fortune Favours the Bold."

(3) What is the Slogan of Clan Mackinnon?

Cuimhnich bàs Ailpein - This Gaelic phrase means "Remember the death of Alpin."

Alpin was the father of Kenneth MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín), and according to tradition Kenneth is considered to be the first King of the Scots.  According to legend Alpin rebelled against the King of the Picts, and after intial success Alpin was eventually defeated in battle and subsequently beheaded.

The word 'Slogan' comes from the Gaelic sluagh-ghairm meaning "battle cry."

(4) What is the Mackinnon Clan Crest/Badge?

Anyone who bears the name Mackinnon or one of its septs is entitled to wear and display the Clan Crest/Badge.

Heraldic terminology:  A boar's head erased and holding in its mouth the shank of a deer all Proper.

According to legend the Mackinnon Chief was hunting stag along the coast of Loch Scavaig.  After successfully bringing down his prey, the Chief retired to a cave for shelter.  During the night, while preparing part of the deer for supper a wild boar made its way into the cave and charged at the Mackinnon Chief.  Having only the time to grab the shank bone from the deer carcass, the Chief drove the bone into the boar's mouth.  This action saved his life, and granted him the precious moments needed to dispatch the attacking animal.

(5)  What are the Mackinnon plant badges?  

The Mackinnon plant badges are St. John's Wort (hypericum perforatum) and Scot's Pine (pinus sylvestris).

There is speculation that one plant badge represents the Mackinnon districts in Mull while the other represents the Mackinnon districts in Skye, but this is unproven.

Plant badges were traditionally worn like a cockade, on the hat or lapel.

St. John's Wort is also sometime's known as St. Columba's (Colum Cille) flower, as according to tradition St. Columba carried the flower with him due to the respect and regard he had for St. John.

(6)  What are the Coat of Arms for the Mackinnon Chief?  Can I wear them?

According the Court of the Lord Lyon, the Armorial Bearings  may only be worn by the Mackinnon Chief.

Heraldic Terminology:  Quarterly, 
1st, Vert, a boar's head erased Argent, holding in its mouth the shank bone of a deer Proper, for the name of MacKinnon; 
2nd, Azure, a castle triple-towered and embattled Argent, masoned Sable, windows and portcullis gules, for MacLeod; 
3rd, Or, a lymphad (or birlinn) the oars saltirewise Sable; 
4th, Argent, a dexter hand couped fesswise Proper, holding a cross crosslet fitchley Sable (the two last for MacDonald);
Supporters:  Dexter, a lion; Sinister, a leopard

Certain older versions of the armorial also contain Alpin's severed head, as a reinforcement of the Clan slogan (for instance the armorial from Celtic Monthly).