Warcry of Clan Strachan

Warcry of Clan Strachan

The Warcry for Clan Strachan is 'Clachnaben!'

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a Clan Motto. A motto belongs to the individual Armiger to which is inscribed in his Armorial Bearings, AND can be virtually anything the petitioner for Arms requests. In fact, most new grantees choose a unique motto that has special meaning to them, or their individual family. Further, the motto, even the Chief's Motto on his crest badge, can be modified by a subsequent matriculation of Arms.

The Clan Warcry is a very different mater. A Warcry belongs to the entire Clan, and it would be inappropriate to refer to it as the Chief's Warcry, or Chief's slogan.

Traditionally, a warcry was used in battle during a Highland Charge to arouse aggression and esprit de corps on one's own side, and cause intimidation on the hostile side. Ideally by overstating one's own aggressive potential to a point where the enemy prefers to avoid confrontation altogether and opts to flee, or negotiate. In order to overstate one's potential for aggression, battle cries needed to be as loud as possible, and have historically often been amplified by acoustic devices such as horns, drums, conches, carnyxes, bagpipes, bugles, etc. The Scottish Regiments even today employ the use of bagpipes to intimidate their enemies.

About Clachnaben

Clachnaben (archaically "Cloch-na'bain"; Scottish Gaelic: "Clach na Beinne" for stone of the ben), is one of the eastern Grampians in Strachan parish, Kincardineshire.  It is crowned by a mass of bare granite, from which it is sometimes called the "White Stone Hill." 

Some locals in the village of Strachan refer to these mountains as "The Maid of Strachan," as this part of the Grampians appear to be a young woman lying in repose. (see below)

Maid of Strachan

Clachnaben is the single most prominent feature in the barony of Strachan. It rises to an altitude of 1944 feet above sea-level, and ommands a view of the East of Scotland.  It is said that on a clear day one can view north all the way to Peterhead, and south to the Lammermuirs in East Lothian, just southeast of Edinburgh.