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The Celts

Describing Celts
Emotional, passionate, heroic, wild, and drunken Sensual, artistic, hospitable, instinctual Proud, inventive, battle-loving They were farmers and traders and also did some Agriculture They traded metals, salt, Pottery, glass and coin ornaments

The family was known as a clann Extended family of generations Group members were responsible for everyone in the clann They lived in huts that were made from arched timber with walls made of wicker and thatched roofs


Beul aithris (oral tradition) was passed down by grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, foster parents Children would be raised by another family foster parents to get educated in a certain trade Foster parents were usually the brother of the birth-mother


When the clann had guests, they would have to do the best they could Guests would make an offering Guests would be expected to sing, play a tune, or tell a tale


Homosexuality was common It is not looked at specifically as bad behavior It is acceptable if the terms in the marriage contract says so

Marriage and Women

The oaths are the only religious part of marriage which are specified by the marriage contract Women were equal to men They could own property, choose own husbands, and be war leaders They also had an equal part in putting together the marriage contract


Believe in the otherworld A metaphor is the image of the dangerous journey on the sea Their lives were a dangerous journey toward death The circle on the cross is the halo of the Christ figure They built monastic communities in a circular design

Religion continued
The communities were intended to be lived in communion with the earth, the sea and the Creator For the Celtic saints, the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, first and foremost, not something to be owned or dominated by anyone

Celtic Sacrifice
They believed in life after death otherworld To be killed or to kill was not thought of as a negative act It would give honor to the victim If crops were failing or animals were falling to disease they would offer human blood to insure health of the population Human sacrifices were made to insure a successful battle They would be buried with jewelry to take to the otherworld


In battle they would cut peoples heads off and carry it around. They were trophies to them, which symbolized courage and valour The sacrificed individual would be stabbed in the back or the breast, and then studied, as the moment of death was the point in which the earthly world of the profane meets the sacred otherworld. The message would then be returned to the examiners in the ways in which the dying would pass on.


Druids very knowledgeable one were important to the celtic culture They could stop a battle Responsibilities included: teaching the religious doctrine, medicine, civil justice, sacrifice, divination, and care of temples To become a druid, school would take up to 20 years because it all had to be memorized They performed animal and human sacrifices and practiced divination and other forms of magic


The King or Queen was the central part of the social structure. They were responsible for harmony between the tribe and the land, and also for the prosperity of the tribe.

Collectivist culture Power distance high Feminine culture care for their clann Uncertainty avoidance low (women have their choice of husband)


McCarthy, J., & Hague, E. (2004). Race, nation, and nature: The cultural politics of Celtic identification in the american west. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 94(2), 387-408. Santmire, P. (2000). Celtic saints and the ecology of death. A Journal of Theology, 41(4), 302-309. Angus Konstam. The historical atlas of the Celtic world, Mercury books, London. Davies Edward, The mythology and rites of British Druids, London 1909.