Welcome to Everything you want to know about The Celts

Hello there! We are a modern day Northern European Style tribe called Maers Khohias. We are of both Norse and Celtic decent here. Come sit. Warm yourself by our fire!! We want you to feel at home as we share some of our Celtic tribe's hospitality. Come. Join in our sitting circle, round the central cauldron and have something to eat, in our Celtic round house. Once fed, sit back, relax, read and listen to some of our stories. Here you will find great information, taking you back in time to meet the ancestors.

If you have the opportunity to come in person to Crawford Bay, BC and take in our courses taught at our school, you'll hear more information, on the Celts and the Vikings, not shared here, as well as live music. We'd love to hear your stories too!!

In no time, you'll be dancing, sharing some good mead or ale and adding to the rooms boasts and toasts.
We Northern European Celts and Vikings are waiting for you.

Having and event? We offer lots of props to choose from as well as great musicians and entertainers. This will be the icing for your Celtic or Viking medieval style event. Need some costumes or warrior gear? We shall help you there too. ... Or Maybe you are the studious type and want to study Celtic ritual, dance, music and beliefs, or have a you have a gift. If so you might want to take a course from our Druid/Bard schools. See here.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Authentic Mead

Drinking Mead among the Northern European Tribes

Because of my tribe's Bard who makes the most delicious mead that I've EVER tasted, I wanted to write about mead. Not only is it all through the stories drank by the Gods and the peoples, it has a past of magickal power. Lets explore further;

 Mead is not a beer nor is it a wine as both involve processes and ingredients not used in the making of it. Sadly, some mead makers, along with those who sell to liquors stores, use ingredients unneccesary and the taste is just not the same at all. Mead was an ancient drink that was much beloved by all Northern European tribes and the peoples of Europe. You don't need any of those and its shelf life is for years.  Liquor store mead IS not will not ever be the same, neither is the crap that some pagan groups make - fortified mead, or the other that tastes like turpentine lol!!

If we look at the history of wine it goes back 6,000 years, but mead goes way back. We can trace it to approximately between 20,000 to 40,0000 years to Africa by following the honey bee which has been around for at least 1,000,000 years. We know that nectar can experience spontaneous fermentation as a result of the action of wild yeast so who knows when the ancients discovered this.

Everything was magickal in these times and Bees discovered yeast a million years before we understood the many ways it could affect honey.  Man discovered this yeast in the old homes of the bees discarded in the dry seasons.  When the rains came, these places would combine the 3 ingredients together (water, yeast & honey) and lo and behold - Mead was born.  Is it really that 3 was a sacred number to the Celts and can you imagine what the ancients thought when they first tasted this nectar of the Gods and the 'magickal effects' took hold on their body and mind.

Eventually the nomadic peoples of Europe began making mead. Surprizingly Europe was the last to hold on to the tradition of mead drinking, the art only fading away some 500 years ago, where as other countries left it over 1500 years ago. The reason for this was wine became more of a Kingly drin as it was perfected. But, still today in Britain there are still monasteries that still produce mead. You notice it was Priest like occupations that kept the bees as ceremonial candles were important to have on hand and bees provided the wax for this purpose. During its time of popularity it was often available only to royalty who could afford to hire a druid or later the monestaries that had bee keepers kept this tradition.

In the stories it is Kings and Gods that partake in the merryment of mead but that is not to say the free people did not partake. There just wasn't anyone writing of those who did not strive to make a name for him or herself through their occupation and mazers (mead makers) are no exception. The best mazer, blacksmith and so on would be sought out for Royalty suppliers.

We've had no real commercialized industry for mead making since the 1800's but it is making a come back since the interest in the ancient religions of Europe has risen again. Now there is an actual organization that represents the global mead market, called the International Mead Association or IMA. I strongly suggest that mead makers check it out so that we can bring this industry back and you can possibly be acknowledged for your own unique concoctions.

Anyway, when you speak to our bards, they speak of not only the wonderful explotion of taste of each mead brings to your pallet, but also the hidden treasures within it and the process of making it. Whats even more greater about it is that the keeping of it is so easy. Its shelf life is of great length and sustainable for months that we know so far as most gets drank before 6 months is up so I cannot personally verify longer than this time frame. But once you've drank your first mead, I am positive that you will be hooked and will go wassailing. I invite you to come, if you live in Calgary to join in one of our mead tasting gatherings and sit round and listen to the entertaqinment planned by our clan. We welcome all.

Now lets talk about customs, celebrations and times when mead was used.  Mead had fantastic healing properties, once thought as myth but now these 'myths' are slowly being proven today as fact. They also believed that mead helped fertility.  Did you know where the word honeymoon comes from.  Yes mead. The couple would go for one full moon cycle drinking mead together after the rite of marriage, to make sure they would conceive.  

Contrary to popular belief, many modern pagan groups seem to think that May was popular for marriage, it was not.  In fact May was very unlucky if one were to actually read the stories. June is the month considered to be the luckiest and its moon is called the honey moon.  May marriages always end in disaster. Even in Queen Victoria's time, she believed it was a bad omen to marry in this month.  This myth  is repeated throughout Northern European culture from Norse to Ireland and in the Arthurian areas, where the Winter God always wins the spring Goddess away from the Summer God.

The Making of Mead

Mead was made of water and honey only. Today, this is called a Traditional mead and some persons call it a sack mead but Sack mead is sweeter than traditional using more honey. The practice of adding herbs to it only came about in the middle ages as far as I've found so far. Please remember in every article I write, more and more knowledge will surface as more texts are still being translated and as archeaology discovers more with DNA testing and so on. We do know that they did add fruit to it, as we can see this in Roman areas.
Now there are some that make a sparkling mead but this is not a mead, in my opinion. These are the others made today that are still traditional ;

Metheglin - with added spices
Melomel - made with fruitiness
Hippocras - spices and fruit

There is much more kinds being made today, and those you can research on your own if you get the passionate desire to make it. If you need help be sure to join our facebook group and start a discussion for mead and our Bards would be haopy to help you out!!! It actually seems fitting that our bards make the mead in our modern day tribe as Bards were sought after performers in ancient times who traveled from tribe to tribe or Royal to royal, entertaining people with song, story, music and dance in exchange for great hospitality. When a Bard arrived the people celebrated as the people could take a break from working and daily routines and enjoy the feast of the tribe. Mead of course would be plenty and enhance the experience of the mood a Bard could create. Our Bards still do the same thing and you are welcome to come!!.

You haven't lived until you try our Bards mead. So Got Mead? Happy Wassailling!! Drink up and enjoy mead!  Drink it in Tankards, goblets, horns or glasses.

Brahva Cwmevos

Copyright  August 2010

The List of Northern European Celtic Tribes

The List of Names of the

Northern European Celtic Tribes

 The Picture above is from the era the Celts thrived prior to Christianity.  600 BCE to 100 CE.

Grouping the Celtic Tribes
Galatians - Northern Italy and Asia minor
Gauls - France and Southern Germany.
Iberian Celts - Spain - moved to become eventually the Irish.
Britons - Britain area 
Arthurian - Wales and Germany area.  The Angles moved to join tribes in Wales. 
Brythonic (newer language) - Britanny, Cornwall and Wales branch 
Goidelic (older language) - Scots, Manx and Irish branch.  First Irish Celts were known as Dal Riadans (the Kingdom became Argyll.
Scots or Scotti - the irish who broke of and moved to the area now called Scotland.

Note -  The people in Britain we refer to as Anglo Saxon but this is not true we should be calling them Anglo-Celts


If I found the meaning of their names I've written it here.  You will see just like the first nations people again, the Celts also referred to themselves as 'the people' and added from the main God they were descended from. Many believed they came from animals, now whether these be constellations in the sky or animals on earth we don't know but others believed they came from trees.  The Celtic Begae for example, believed they were descendants of Epona.  Some of the Scottish tribes believed their ancestor was the seal and honoured the Selkie Mother Goddess. You can do this as well.  Those tribes of far North and West were hard to track down because they had little contact with the Romans and did not exist on the ancient maps of Ptolemy Geogrophy.  

This List of Celtic tribes are as follows;

  •  the Aduatuci tribe - L Meuse R. Their name means "people who live next to the water".  The Aduatuci or Atuatuci Germanic and Gallic peoples. were, according to Caesar, a tribe formed in east Belgium from descendants of the (proto-)Germanic Celts called the Cimbri , Teutones, and Ambrones tribes. In Date: 57  B.C.E. the Aduatuci sent troops to assist the  the fearsome Nervii, (Nervians) with the Atrebates, and the Veromandui, in the Battle of the Sabis.  These tribes were forming against Ceasar on the opposite side of the Sambre River.  History could have been changed as the Romans were almost wiped out if it weren't for two legions that happened to be arriving on a returning baggage train. and the cavalry also returned  The Aduatuci arrive late and were later defeated by the Romans after withdrawing to a fortified Aduatuci city. During the night however, thinking that the Romans would lower their guard in light of the surrender, the Aduatuci stormed the Roman lines hoping to catch them by surprise. The attempt failed and nearly 4,000 men were killed with the rest retreating to the fort. In the first of many perceived brutalities Caesar would be merciless with the Belgae who betrayed him. The next day the Romans stormed the fort capturing it quickly. He then claimed that 53,000 people were captured and sold into slavery, virtually wiping out the Aduatuci. 
  • the Aeduii Tribe - (also called Haedui or Hedui)  from today's central France - French Celts.  They had rituals adopted from the Greco-Roman culture.  Way before the Cesar era, this tribe had already attached themselves to the Romans, and were considered blood kinsmen of the Roman people. The Sequani tribe was their neigbours on their other side, and as with all Celtic tribes, they continually warred with.  When Ceasar came they turned to their own people, surprisingly against Rome, even though in 58 BCE he restored their independence.  Once they saw they were losing, they returned their allegiance to Rome.  The Aedui were the first to receive from Emperor Claudius the distinction of 'jus honorum' (the rights to vote and to office). There is evidence where they adopted a Roman type political system where there was a 'magistrate'.  The Chief magistrate of the Aedui was called Vegobretus (which if I remember correctly what i read somewhere, means "judgment worker". This position was elected annually, and possessed powers of life and death, but was forbidden to go beyond the people living in their own area. The Aedui (tribe) means "living sun fire people". Divitiacus is a famous Druid of the Aedui who supported Rome.  Was a Senator for his tribe and escaped a massacre by the forces of the Sequani tribe. 
  • the Albini tribe - means 'White moon people' and they lived by mountains with a similar name Albanese mountains.
  • the Allarte tribe  -name became Allard, Alhers, Allart, D'Alare and many other variations today.  They were from tribes around the area that was run by what I call the  French Celts and some came to Quebec.  Others say sub-clans of Allard joined in the area of the Anglo-Saxon (Norman) tribes of Britain.  Was first made into a last name when taxes were put upon people and the Coat of Arms granted to the Allard family is a silver shield with three red bars, on an azure canton a gold leopard's face.I am unsure at this point its meaning.
  • the Allobroge tribe - A Gaul  Celtic tribe, Ceasar mentions them in ancient writings, "the Segusiavi were were the "first tribe outside the province" on "the far side of the Rhone." SE France - near Lake Geneva. Ceasar said he marched from the Allobroges to the Segusiavi (the east bank of the Rhône & into the Roman province). The Greek Historian Plybius is the first to record a reference to the Allobroges. He tells how they  unsucessfully resisted Hannibal when he crossed the Alps in 218 BCE.  Apparently their major healing God was Borvo & not Apollo, as they were very Romanised.  Allobroges - means "white cow people" according to one lady but it is a word I believe, that comes from the Belgium or Spain area Celts.  If you split the name in Galacian essentially means Allo is "alternate" or "other" & broges becomes Broghan or Brogue = which means shoemaker lol. Bro means brothers.  So I believe it means Brothers of the shoemaker possibly.
  • the Ambarri tribe - Mid-France kinsmen of Aedui.
  • the Ambiani tribe - Norther France near Amiens.
  • the Ambiliati tribe - allies of Veneti
  • the Ambisonte tribe - lived in the Alps. 
  • the Ambivareti (Ambivariti) tribe - Subclan of the Aeduii and lived North of Meuse R.
  • the Ambrone tribe - Celtic tribe that lived by Denmark, France and central Europe. 
  • the Anacalite tribe - resided in SE England.
  • the Anani tribe - An Italian Celtic tribe living in Western Emilia, Po Valley.  The name Anani means cloud people I heard - don't quote me.  if anyone comes up with proof otherwise let me know.  there is the (Anari) who lived in South Po Valley, not sure if its the same people branched.
  •  the Anarte tribe - lived near the Danube.
  • the Andecavi tribe - (also Andicavi or Andes) were a people of ancient and early medieval Armorica.  Ceasar says they provided winter lodgings for Publius Crassus, who accomplished bringing several tribes into relations with Rome.  Lead by Dumnacus, in the huge war against Ceasar. 
  • the Ande tribe - North lower Loire R.
  •  the Aquitani tribe - Aquitania, south of Loire.
  •  the Arevacian tribe - Spanish Celts in North Spain.
  • the Armoricani tribe - were a tribe living in the area now called Brittany and all along the coast up to Dieppe in Normandy.  These people still there in the Iron Age as what people now call Norse or Scandinavians but there is plenty of evidence that their earlier settlement, both Strabo and Poseidonius describe, as they belonged to the Belgae at one time. 
  • the Arri tribe - according to Christine O-Keefe means fertile people.  
  • the Arvaci tribe -
  • the Arverni tribe - Southern France by the Auvergne Mountains.  Gauls who had the famous Vercingetorix as their leader who was executed 46 B.C.E.
  • the Aquitani tribe - (Latin for Aquitanians) were a people living in what is still called Aquintane, France. The name Aquitanian seems to be related to an older form of a deity called Basque. 
  • the Artrebates tribe - resided in Southern England and Northern France.  
  • the Atuatuci tribe - France
  • the Aulerci tribe - Southern France
  • the Ausci tribe - Aquitanian tribe   
  • the Averni tribe - violently opposed to the Romans. Lived in the elevated region in South central of France in mountains and plateaus.  One of the most powerful tribes of ancient Gaul.  During the 2nd and 3rd centuries they were guided by their King, Luernios.  It is written that either his son or his grandson, Bituitus, was defeated by the Romans in 123 BC, and there after the Aedui and Sequani became the dominant tribes.
  • the Baiocasses tribe - elected their leaders annually. The Baiocasses were located east of the Venelli and west of the Belgic Veliocasses. The latin name for their territory was the Pagus Baiocensis. 
  • the Batavi tribe - Rhine delta.  
  • the Belgae tribe - Celtic tribes SW England, and Belgium. 
  • the Belli tribe - mention of it, most likely a Belgium tribe.  
  • the Bellovaci tribe - Northern France - again might be from Belgium.  
  • the Bibroci tribe - lived in SE England.   
  • the Bigerrione tribe - S France
  • the Biturge tribe - Mid-France, Bourges
  • the Boii tribe - more of a nomatic tribe were in the Alps, Northern Italy, middle France, Austria but were originally in Bohemia. These are Germanic style Celts. Central Emilia-Romagna (Bologna).  They minted base gold, silver and billon (base silver) coins. Most of the coins show a Celtic male head on one side with a very elaborate hair style and on the other side a horse and chariot rider with a lyre above or below or else a boar.  A number of these are in existence.  They believed they were descendants of Belenus.  Belinus 'the shining one", his name means bright or brilliant. Their name meant People of the Bull or Bull people. Bull is a common totem for the sun as well as other horned animals like the Stag.  
  • the Brannovice tribe - People of the Raven.  
  • the Breuci tribe - lived in Yugoslavia area.
  • the Bretons
  • the Brigantes tribe - is a very large tribe that were settled in Northern England from seas to sea.  These are the English or British Celts who came in 3rd to 6th centuries CE.  and were called Saxons because they came from region of old Saxony and does not refer to an ethnic group though there is still debate.  This Germanic language was spoken in Britain before the arrival of the Normans who spoke French - descendants of French Celtic tribes perhaps?  As time passed the two languages joined and made English - Anglo-Saxons. 
  • the Britons (the Britanni tribes) - Southern England. Its is funny that the people living in England today (2000's) call foreigners who move to England 'Brits' or 'British' although it is they the 'English' or the invading Anglo-Saxons that are the foreigners in reality. Original Britons were once Painted people too as even in 208, they were said to tattoo their bodies with coloured designs of all kinds of animals.
  • the Caerini tribe - also spelled Carini, lived in Sutherland area, west of the Cornavi.  Their name means People of the Sheep, especially the Ram.  (Here we see again a reference to zodiac or sky Gods) 
  • the Caledonii tribe - also spelled Kaledonioi or Calidones means (firm, tough, severe and/or hardy) live from the Bay of Lemmanonia to above them the Caledonian forest.  Their name is still preserved in 9th Century Dun Chaillden and Schiechallon.  They were 'world' (Roman) renowned for their fighting skills.  Had Red hair and large limbs.  One of the leaders was called Calgacus (means swordsman). Also referred to as Picts in 367, it is believed they were also called Dicalidones. 
  • the Cattraighe tribe - Eastern Lombardy (Brixia, Cremona).  Name means Cat folk.  The Shetland Isles earliest name was Insli Catt meaning Cat islands referring to the wild cat totem of this tribe.  This name is still survive but is now Caithness.  The Gaelic name for Sutherland is Cataibh meaning "among the Cats".  The island is now showing strong evidence of Scandinavian population who mixed with the tribes there. 
  • the Carnonacae tribe - also spelled Karnonakai.  Lived in the Creones.  Their name means trumpet or horn people but could also be referring instead to the rocky surroundings as their name is also similar to Welsh word for Carn or Cairn. It is a Scottish tribe.
  • the Cartagena or Carthagenians tribe - Spanish Celts are Ibernian Celtic mix.
  • the Cayvupnor tribe(Name means Bear People - most likely Arthurian tribe or other Bear cult who focused on Bear constellation).
  • the Cenomani tribe - Eastern Lombardy (Brixia, Cremona) 
  • the Cornavii tribe -Caithnessarea, means People of the horn or Horn People which meant of the horned one or horned animal.  They were strong believers in Kernnunos / Cernunnos.
  • the Creones tribe - Creones is of course Latin version Kreones (Gr.).  They are also referred to as  Cerones and lived north of the Epidi. My guess is that the Romans got it wrong and this was a sub clan under the same tribe as the Carnonacae and Caereni. Unfortunately, the meaning of their name is unknown but if I had to take an educated guess, being that the Celts identified with sky, land and animals as being descended from, so it could refer to a leader naming himself after Cernunnos or adipted from the regions itself and if so the closest Celtic word to it would be 'pile of stones' or 'prominent stone'.  
  • the Damnoni tribe - whose name literally means "men under the goddess of the deep".  Could be a reference to them being miners. Associated with Drumchapel & settled in Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Dumbartonshire & parts of Stirlingshire, Devon, Britanny & Ireland. They spoke P-Celtic similar to Welsh and say they were descended from Semion of the Nemeds. Nemedians revolted against the Formorians but lost & the survivors  left Ireland to colonize Britain.  When they return they are now called Fir Bolgs and the People of Dana. Interestingly the Strathclyde Damnoni have their own myths.
  • the Decantes tribe - Decantes (Lat.), Dekantai (Gr.)  Also spelled Decantae or Decanti. Modern day Decan.  This tribe lived north of the Caledonii there was also a tribe with the same name that existed in North Wales according to Rivet and Smith. Their name means the 'noble ones'.
  • the Durotrige tribe - lived in the Dorset area of South Britain. 
  • the Daesitiate tribe / also called Dacii (Dacians by the Romans)-  Wolf people / descendants of wolf. They were unquestionably stretched from the Southern Adriatic to the Danube in the North. To this day a large number of their fortress remains and it's almost sure that the Daesitiates & their Romanized descendants lived in them.
  • the Eburones tribe -Boar People according to .  And again according to Christine O'keefe they were (Winter Goddess People).  Both sounds a little fluffy to me since the tribe was Belgic, very Celtic back then, not quite developed the full Dutch language yet.  They also lived around Namur, France.  Eburoni: *Eibe means yew and is from the place names around the area this the most likely meaning, not 'boar'.  In Dutch. 'Boer' = farmer, also not boar. Eburon is plural of Ebur or eibboer. During the late Roman Empire the region was called Taxandria (sometimes Toxandria) in Latin: taxus also means yew . Yew grows reasonably well upon sandy soils and we know most of their territory is sandy. This tribe's farmers was also know for growing and selling yew to supplement their income. Yew was and still is the traditional wood of making archery bows like the famous English longbow.  In fact, Yew from Taxandria was famous throughout Gaul.  The Eburonians used a special para-Brythonic name: eburo for Yew.  It is important to note that these Northern European tribes did not call themselves the names given to them by the Romans.  For example, the Eburoni called that by Romans, called themselves Tunger Tribe (also spelled Tungri) = meaning  "those who speak our tongue".   According to Caesar, they were Germanic but we know that these tribes all mixed and moved.  In his day though, these people inflicted the greatest military defeat to Caesar during his campaign in 'Gaul'. Some 7500 men were slaughtered. Sadly, as a measure of revenge, Caesar officially declared genocide, and wanted to wipe out the entire tribe. But we know that a complete genocide was never able to carry through because many people were once one.  Later, the Eburoni re-appeared declaring their own name the Tungri written in the official Roman nomenclature, actually honouring the 'divine' Caesar. Again, you cannot believe everything written from the period, especially when they are written by those who have a predujice against these people.  The names of this tribes Germanic Kings, also shows proof that all these tribes were once Celtic - Ambiorix and Catuvolcus.  The upper echelons were Celtic with both language and culture.  Another proof is their  tribal name meaning 'yew'-tree'  This gives Caesar's story some deeper meaning - that King Catuvolcus committed suicide by taking in the poisonous juice from the yew-tree an extra layer of meaning. The other issue saying that the Germanic language of a later era - ebura means 'boar', is not well represented in any ancient record but there is much more evidence backing up the local peoples in that time spoke a form of Gaulish language.  Even Dutch proununciation comes from a Gallo-Roman accent when the Eburones no longer existed. 
  • the Epidii tribe - lived by Kintyre.  name means Horse people/people of the horse.  Lived next to the Damnoni tribe.  Most likely horse breeders and their gods would have been the constellation now called Pegusus but by them called Epona.  This is hard to reference or prove outside Roman Empire and writings so this is my opinion and best educated guess at this time.  Rhiannon (Reti, Reta, riata) means riding a horse. Similar tribe had a leader Reuda and Bede states "They are still called Dalreudini after this leader."
  • the Eravisci tribe - occupied Hungary and Danube river.  Very strongly Celtic even during Roman invasions. Hungarian-Germanic Celts. 
  • the Gamanrad tribe - means Stork People. 
  • the Graioceli tribe - lived in Northwestern Piedmont in the Alps
  • the Helvetii tribe- who lived in the Switzerland area - a Celt-Norse culture as they did moved to Gaul, then back again. 
  • the Harpstedt tribe - a representation of early Germans which developed a sound change which differenciated from the Gaelic /Indo European dialects in this general area.  They lived right at the foot of the Danish penisula.
  • the Iceni tribe - (sometimes spelled Eceni) we all know well as from this tribe comes the famous Celtic warrior woman called Queen Boudicca (original spelling - Proto-Celtic).  My husband says I remind him of her.....I'm not so sure lol.  They are from East England in the Norfolk / Suffolk areas & quite wealthy tribe, even making their own coins. Due to these coins we know they were a horse worshiping tribe.  English Celts or Britons.
  • the Insubre tribe - Western Lombardy (Milan)
  • the Lepontii tribe - Northern Lombardy, North-eastern Piedmont and Switzerland in the Lepontine Alps.
  • the Ligones tribe - North-eastern Emilia-Romagna (Ferrara), Po Valley 
  • the Lugi tribe - they lived next to the Decantes and joined to the territory of the Cornavi. Their nme means Raven people. 
  • the Marini (Morini) - the tribe's name means people of the is derived from the 'sea' or 'lake' but their name does not mean from the sea, it means "people from the salty marshes" (salt from the sea).  The German style of adding 'in' makes it plural.  This is a Belgium tribe.
  • the Menapii - Name means = people of a commune next to water. The Menapii is NOT a tribe but several independant villages with different communes.  (a commune or mens (meens) = a main large common house where people gathered, justice was spoken, decisions proposed, discussed and voted.) The middle syllable refers to 'water'.  Some towns in Holland still contain words that refer to water - Apeldoorn (Appe+ thorn) = thorny [field] near water, even the famous avalon refers to being by or surrounded by water.  The Menapii 'waters' stretched from the North Sea up to Germany.  Caesar described them as Germanic and had great trouble in subduing them because he had to conquer village after village as each tribal commune could decide independently whether to surrender or not. So, despite popular belief, the Menapii were not a tribe in the classic sense of the word but more a string of villages. They were found from the mouth of the Scheldt river up to the modern border with Germany along the Rhine. 
  • the Miathi tribe - may have sprung from the Votadini who would've been divided by the Antonine Wall but this is unsure.  The reason for my judgement here is Cassius Dio in describing an evnt in 208 says "There are two races of Britons, the Calendonians and the Maeatians." Their name also reflects this separation as it means "People of the larger part". Dun Miathi means "hill for of the Miathi". Stirling was known once as Manau or Manaw in the place name Clackmannan, sometimes called Manau Goddodin. In the 5th century, the Royal dynasty of Gwynedd was led by a Chieftain of the Manaw Gododdin who brought his warband to wales to aid his cousins there against the Irish. Geneticist James Wilson backs this up by finding an unusual haplotype within the Y-dna in John McEwans chart that seem to be localized around Stirling reflecting the Miathi. This might explain the gold torcs found there dating to 300-100 BCE which were irish and Scottish in style.  The other torcs, however, were more exotic, possibly from south-west france and one from the Mediterranean. Either way this tribe were Atlantic Broch builders at one time. 
  • the Nervii tribe -these were Belgium Celts from northern Gaul.  Sadly they were wiped out by Ceasar but put up a tremendous fight.  Nervius is a single person from the tribe.  (plural: Nervii) Th first syllable in their name means something close to 'near activity' or 'productive site'.  Or it could be closer to the Dutch verb 'to make money' or 'to happy benefit' which originally came from 'farm, factory, enterprise'. The last syllable is from a word meaning 'woven panel, wall, house' and corresponds with 'wattle'  The word ‘Nervia’ means therefore: people from the land of the (big) farms. The modern region, where they lived is still known for its castle farms. During the battle, the three castle farms on the battlefield played a decisive role.
  • the Orobii or Orumbovii tribe - lived in Central Lombardy (Bergamo)
  • the Orcoi tribe - lived in the Orcades islands once called Insi Orc now called Orkney.  This tribe's name means 'people of the pig' which could refer to a number of legends from Arthurian cults of Meyrddin to Cerridwen the sea pig goddess, but may be in reference to wild boar. Orkney was later taken by the Vikings. An in old Norse 'orkn' means seal. Thus Celtic version could have been a seal Goddess.  Irkney islanders later brought back from Canada, Native American wives.

  • the Parisii tribe - lived where Paris is today. French Celts.
  • the Picts - this is NOT a tribe.  This is a name given to describe the tribes of the Scotti, Caledonii, and other tribes North of the Roman border. All of these so close to each other, painted with woad for blue and iron ochre for other colours.
  • the Remi tribe Elected their leaders annually. 
  • the Salassi tribe - lived in Aosta Valley and Canavese - Northern Piedmont.
  • the Scordisci tribe - a powerful Celtic tribe who tried to settle in Greece but went back to central Europe between the rivers Drava and Sava.  Their name was Latinized to Scordisci which meant 'evening vespers'.
  • the Scotti - not a tribe are the Scottish people whom are actually the Irish people from Ireland who moved across to Scotland area.  The North-eastern tip of Scotland is noted for its brochs (tall, round, stone built, hollow walled Iron age tower houses.  They were also found in Skye, Orkney, Outer Hebrides and Shetland Islands  and often close to the sea. The Celts living in what is now called Spain also had these brochs but even more complex.
  • the Seguini (or Cottii) tribe - Western Piedmont on Cottian Alps (Susa). This tribe had Germanic and Italian Celts.  One  had the assistance of the Germanic chieftain named Ariovistus in battle sometimes.The other made a small independant kingdom in northwestern Italy which included a very important road connecting Gaul to it.  It became part of the Roman Empire in 64 AD.  Now to add to the confusion there is also the Cotti and this was a large and strong tribe of the Scots who were already mixed with Picts.  Whether these others were once all come from there originally, I have not uncovered this mystery as yet.
  • the Senones tribe - S-eastern Emilia-Romagna (Rimini) & Northern Marche (Senigallia).
  • the Smertae tribe - (Smertai) Various meanings I found for this tribe's name were "far-sighted ones" and "providers".  They lived west of the Lugi. 
  • the Taecali tribe - lived north of the Vacomagi tribe in a town named Devana.  Their name might be after a God named Taxis and the town named after the River Deva, (present day Dee), which simply means Goddess. 
  • the Taurini tribe - Piedmont (Turin area) .  People of the Bull, Bull people. Again showing reference to zodiac or sky gods. 
  • the Taurisci tribe - People of the Bull, Bull people. 
  • the Tochrad tribe - means Boar People. 
  • the Treveri tribe - Treveri means "people of the forest villages." Their alleged capital was the modern city of Trier in Germany. This place was actually a civitas, which was most probably founded just outside the traditional realm of the Treverians, again for political reasons. The Treverians are known to be the ancestors of the modern people of Luxemburg. Luxemburg is still a land of forests. The original land of the Treveri was bigger: It stretched way into modern Belgium and once comprised most of the east part of the modern Ardennes.This is a Belgium Tribe.
  • the Trinovantes tribe - were in eastern England just north of the Thames. 
  • the Una tribe - means "Sun people" according to according to Christine O-Keefe.  She says Una Bluebell are flowers that grow but doesn't state whether they grew in their area which was by the Una river in Yugoslavia.  These Celts called this land Dalmatia (Leaf land)I looked it up myself and the name seems to mean lamb people but who knows on the net people post whatever for name meanings these days so don't quote me, but I could be right lol.  Just showing you to not believe everything you read as new info surfaces all the time!! 
  • the Vaccael tribe - means the slender Goddess people according to Christine.  According to whoever wrote the wikipedia for them it is more likely to mean slayer people. Celtic tribe living in Yugoslavia by the Vuka river.  They were also in Spain as the Vacaei tribe but could be two different tribes all together.  The spain tribe were strict egalitarians, very warlike and practiced land reform and food distribution.
  • the Vacomagi - Lived next to the Caledonii in Bannatia, Tamia, and Tuesia. Their name means 'inhabitants of the curved fields'.  They set up a camp at one time which might shed more light on what they were about called "Pinnata camp which meant "camp of the feathered emblem'. 
  • the Venicones - a tribe  south of the Vacomagi living in a town called Orrea. Once a Roman fort whith a Granary providing food to the fleet. Their name means 'kindred hounds' in reference to hunting hounds or hounds of the hunt.
  • the Venetii tribe - this was a maritime tribe who loved to trade around Amorican peninsula who were defeated by Ceasar at sea and those who survived were sold as slaves.
  • the Vertamocorii tribe - Eastern Piedmont (Novara) 
  • the Verturiones (Lat) Fortrinn (Gaelic),  Waerteras (OE) -  Pictish tribe as they were divided into Dicalidones and Veruriones. Lived in shores of Moray Firth and were the core of Pictish Kingdom.  Bridei was their earliest noted King and was said to be the son of Beli.  Their name means 'very powerful". 
  • the Volcae tribe - were from central Europe and some of this tribe branched off and formed the Volcae Tectosages and one part went to Gaul (France) and the other Anatolia.  Formed a Turkish Celtic tribe and French Celts.

Copyright October 2009
Brahva Cwmevos
(LaurieLee Mills)

If you'd like to use this, please write me and ask permission by stating what you shall be using it for, and always give the author credit.


Bibliotheca classica, or A dictionary of all the principal names and terms ... By John Lemprière

Taliesin - John Mathews 


the Celtic Tribes main page

Celtic Occupations

Celtic Occupations

Most articles are written to speak of the Hierarchy of the Tribe and their roles but just as important and in fact more important was the rest of the tribe, the majority and their occupations.  Without them, there would be nothing.  These were the Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick maker and much more.  There was also the Blacksmith, which was somehow elevated above the others as he held the secret magic to fire.  

Here is a list which I shall add to as I go.







Chariot Driver







Herald or Messenger

Host -  Hosts were like inn keepers that were assigned to an large homes along the main road.  They received many privileges and could only retain their privileges as long as they did not refuse hospitality.







Shepherd - a very important role, also included in many myths as this represented the God of the Spring sometimes represented as a lamb. - Aries in ancient times.  Today the western world misuses the zodiac and kept it in months instead of using the sidereal and proper zodiac that the ancients used.



Brahva Cwmevos

Copyright August 24th 2010

Ancient Celtic Clothing

Ancient Celtic Clothing

Above is a reconstruction of a Celtic warrior's garments in the museum Kelten-Keller, Rodheim-Bieber, Germany.  Please remember that all tribes were unique and wore their own style and had their own Gods.

Celtic art has survived even to modern day and is a popular choice when it comes to choosing Celtic clothing.  Many today wear Celtic Clothing in order to honour their ancestors.  The ancient Celts were superior at making woven textiles for their Celtic clothing, turning the heads of other cultures.  Weaving was considered advanced knowledge in its time and one item could take over a month to make.  Celtic clothing was well cared for.

Celtic clothing for both women and men was wrap around skirts, tunics, or long one piece dresses or robes and wool was the material most often used.   Other popular materials for Celtic Clothing were linen, silk, hemp, leather and fur.  They also used feathers in both clothes and hair.   Besides the birched coned hats found, hats are not mentioned often, but headbands of cloth or gold are  spoken about.  Charioteers, for example are described as wearing gold ones.  Wealthy indeed was the Charioteer.  The Celts loved to wear bright colours and used dyes made from natural items like berries, plants, stale urine and copper to make their often plaid or striped cloths left frequently with fringed edges.  There were also rules about which days of the month or week was okay for dyeing as were with many other tasks they did. 

Celtic clothing wasn't the same for all tribes, it varied depending on each tribe's influence. One tribe may favour baggy Celtic clothing, while another liked them form fitting.  The oldest depictions  of Celtic Clothing I've found come from around 500 BCE from the area of modern Austria.  Examples below;  

Celtic clothing on Scythian borders - From the drawings it looks like they wore tight fitting pants or tights, and a tunic that actually looks like a suit jacket.  It's a long shirt with the front bottom that curved back to the tails.  Their shoes had upturned toes.   The women seem to be wearing highly decorated skirts or long tunics, hard to tell.  Celtic Clothing from grave sites tell us a Chieftain, found at Hochdorf, shows the same style as above but with it an unusual preserved conical hat with fine punched patterns, made of birch-bark. Salt miners wore the same type of Celtic clothing with lower quality cloth and less colour with the same conical hats made of animal fur.

Celt-Iberic Celtic Clothing  - men wore tunics of mid-thigh length with a wide decorated belt at the waist. Women are wearing elaborate Celtic headdresses and tunics with checkered trim, and sometimes a very wide ruffle at the bottom of a hem or skirt called a flounce about 4 - 5" wide.  Belts worn by the Celt-Iberians of early Christian period were wide and decorated with metal plaques.


I could not find any depictions of dress in Ireland before the Christian period, so the following is from Spanish mythology "the Book of Leinster" written out by the Spanish monks in 9th century, is the major source of Irish descriptions.   Celts said they came from the Spain before spreading out to the isles. There are documents and songs to state this fact.  So Irish Celtic clothing is the following;

Irish Celtic clothing -  Irish Celts of any ages or sex wore usually, a white linen leine (tunic).  Other tunics were dark gray, gold, yellow and brown in the stories.  The word 'leine' actually means linen.  Some tunics had sleeves, and some actually had hoods, like our pull over hoodies today!  (SOLD OUT) Some were knee-length, and some calf-length but the most common of course was mid-thigh for men.  We also read that some had red/gold embroidery, lace or fringes as trim.  One is described with a gold hem, some had gold seams or red embroidery.  The interlace was very simple twist.  Don't make the mistake of put intricate interlace on an early Celtic clothing, for this was not done until the 5th century possibly later. 

Medieval tunic

British, French = (Gauls), Germananic, mixed French and German = (Franks) Celtic clothing - On mainland European continent wore the same Celtic clothing.  The Romans could tell them apart by their language only.  Celtic Cloaks of course.  The men wore three forms of trousers, described below under warriors, tight fitting that extended just over the knee, loose fitting trousers with feet in them, or pants secured at the ankles by the straps from their shoes. The trousers either had a tie at the waist or were furnished with belt loops.  No evidence exists that the Irish tribes ever used cross-gartering on their hose as did the Germanic tribes.  Shirts were mostly sleeveless tunics here with fringed hems.   The tight fitting above the knee style was adopted by the Roman legions, not the other way around as most persons assume.  More and more evidence  is surfacing shows this.  Romans even adopted "chainmaille" from the Celts. Some Roman depictions show Celtic men wearing caps and hats similar to a Shriner's fez but rounded on top instead of flat.


Celtic Clothing and Status

Tunics - In Celtic clothing, most tunics are known to have been made of linen, unless one was of noble birth, which then it was silk.  

Celtic Cloaks - A Mantle, or fur cape, was an essential necessity and not a luxury as today.  It was the color and length of the Celtic cloak that showed the status of the individual.  Celtic Cloaks were rectangular or ovoid; the oval ones being shaped on the loom.  A Celtic cloak, called a Brat, was the rectangular type was pinned with a brooch.  For the brat - the longer the brat, the higher the status. The brat of kings and heroes was often referred to as being 'five-folded'.  This means that only the Chieftains, honoured warriors, Royalty and Druid were allowed over 5 colors.  We know of a mantle which  some of the colors were purple, green, reddish-gray, black, and gray streaked, yellow, red, dun, or purple edged, patchworked and one re-brown. This important piece of Celtic clothing was usually the four-cornered or oval brat, pinned at the breast with a pin or brooch.  Irish Celtic cloaks resembled bear skins or fur or curly wool.  A piece of a cloak from around 200CE period with inserted tuftings of wool has been found in an Irish bog.

Shoes, Sandals, and Belts

Celtic Clothing shoes were  made of leather, straw or linen.  It seems that shoes were  worn only by women and male Druids, definitely not warriors unless they wore linen shoes that rotted away.  Interesting one piece shoes have been found in the Irish bogs and they are of the same type worn by figures in the Book of Kells.  Remember since the Celts loved bright colours, and some of these shoes have even been described in the literature as purple and yellow.  The shoe was a sandal type usually but was sometimes a full boot  shoe with fur wrapped around the leg, held together with strings of leather.  The boot shoes varied but for the most part were made with one piece of leather. Gaulish sandals and shoes constructed of straw have been found. 

Celtic Clothing Belts - Celts loved to wear belt buckles and belts which we have here in the store. A belt of leather or wool called the oriss was sometimes worn over the leine, although the Tain only mentions belts in connections with swords or armor. Belts were made by card weaving so that complex patterns could be made. Card weaving was also used to make fringes for Celtic clothing.


Druidess Celtic Clothing - wore green speckled cloak with a round, heavy headed brooch above the breast is described.

Prophetesses Celtic Clothing - wore snug long tunics with long hoods that covered her head, stiff and glossy with green silk beneath red layer, with gold embroidery and is clasped over her breasts with a brooch of silver and gold.  They wore a purple cloak with this. The hood mentioned may not have been a true hood but rather a fold of material at the top of the tunic as seen on early Greek chitons.

Free women Celtic Clothing - Celtic clothing worn by women was the narrow tunic or chiton., some Tribes are described as wearing white ones with purple embroidery.  Others wore the short tunic tucked into a long skirt.  Seems to have been the costume of the Ostrogothic women.  The dresses are described as being "tight-fitting" which the early Greek chitons were.  Interestingly, ancient authors mention the wearing of bells on the hems and skirts of the dresses which is linked to the bells dance of the the 1st Nations women of today. Scottish woman & sometimes men wore the Arisaidh, which was like a skirt shawl.  


Warriors of a certain Celtic cults went naked into battle covered only with designs drawn on their bodies in blue dye made from woad and Celtic jewelry.

Medieval Celtic Clothing

By the 800 CE, soldiers and lower class males wore a jacket and pants, or hose.   The tunics, in the Book of Kells, are all ankle length except for those worn by warriors.  Upper class warriors and younger men stuck to their traditional older dress forms.  The upper classes, beyond the English Celts influence, (Scottish-Picts) continued to wear the linen leine until well past 1485 - 1700's. The leine became much fuller and developed long full sleeves in these times.  Other period sources show knee length chitons with long sleeved tunics or ankle length chitons underneath. The Mater figures in northern Germany show over-dresses fastened at the breast with a pin.