A Scottish clan (from Gaelic clann, "children") is a kinship group among the Scottish people. Clans give a sense of shared identity and descent to members, and in modern times have an official structure recognized by the Court of the Lord Lyon, which regulates Scottish heraldry and coats of arms. Most clans have their own tartan patterns, usually dating from the 19th century, which members may incorporate into kilts or other clothing.
The modern image of clans, each with their own tartan and specific land, was promulgated by the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott after influence by others.
Historically, tartan designs were associated with Lowland and Highland districts whose weavers tended to produce cloth patterns favored in those districts. By process of social evolution, it followed that the clans/families prominent in a particular district would wear the tartan of that district, and it was but a short step for that community to become identified by it.