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The Celts. By: Amber Martin. 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

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The Celts

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the celts

The Celts

By: Amber Martin

describing 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


  • They traded metals, salt,

Pottery, glass and coin


  • 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
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
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 Lord’s and the fullness thereof, first and foremost, not something to be owned

or dominated by anyone”

celtic sacrifice
Celtic Sacrifice
  • They believed in life after death


  • 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.
  • Gaelic Celtic Culture. 10-5-05.
  • Celtic Britain. The Iron age. 600 bc – 50 ad. 10-5-05.
  • Mckinnon, S. Celtic Sacrifice. 10-5-05.
  • Druids. 10-16-05.
  • Powell, T. G. E.(1983). The Celts. New York: Thames & Hudson.
  • Green, M. J. (1995). The Celtic World. New York: Routledge.