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