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Nobles - Men, Women, and Children Illustration

Ancient Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man
Celtic Nobles

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Nobles: In the society of the Iron Age Celts, the Nobles were landowners. They were warrior leaders. The nobles had slaves occasionally, but these were people captured in war. Most of the work was done by the peasants, and that left the nobles lots of free time.

Noble Men: When noble men were not off fighting, they were farmers. They spent time playing fighting games, games of chance, and board games. They hunted and swam and fished. They conducted trade. Men wore their swords and daggers at all times, for decoration and protection.

Noble Women: What a noble woman could and could not do was clearly spelled out, although it varied from clan to clan. A noble woman could own property. She could choose her own husband. Women could become warriors, but few chose to do so. Most ran the household and raised the children.

Women wore their thick hair in braids decorated with beads. They spent a spent a great deal of time on their personal appearance, much of it weaving jewelry into their braids.

Kids: The nobles sent their kids off at quite an early age to live with another clan for training and education. Training could take years. This was one way the ancient Celts developed close ties between various clans. It was called fostering.

Sometimes kids were sent away to their mother's clan, but they could be sent to any clan. Some kids became more loyal to their foster clan than they were to their blood clan. After all, they grew up there.

Still, in times of war, if things went wrong, kids could be held by their foster clan for ransom. The foster clan might even threaten to kill the kids in their care unless they got their way.

It was an odd system, but it was the system of the ancient Celts.

Marriage: When a woman married, she joined her husband's clan. You were always a member of your own clan. You never escaped that obligation and membership. But your husband's clan took precedence.

Clothing: The ancient Celts loved color. They used huge looms to weave richly dyed wool in colorful plaids. They made tunics to wear from some of their fabrics.

Both men and women wore tunics. A man's tunic stopped at the knees. A woman's was floor length. They were both loosely gathered at the waist with a belt.

Both men and women wore shawls over their tunics, wrapped loosely around their shoulders. They wore leather sandals.

Jewelry: The Celts loved jewelry. Gold was hard to get. Silver was even harder to find. Jewelry made of gold or silver was highly coveted. But they made jewelry from many things, including horn, feathers, stones, bronze and beads. Both men and women were fond of wide necklaces worn like a collar around the neck. They decked themselves out with arm bands, bracelets, ankle bracelets, rings (lots of rings), and ornate belts. They fastened their cloaks with jewelry brooches and ornate pins. They loved glitter and color.

Celtic Daily Life

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