In a message dated 95-10-20 03:23:05 EDT, [log in to unmask] (ANGELA
>I was struck by the outpouring of 'celtic identity' by Americans on
>the list over the past few days.
>I am particularly interested in how people define themselves, in how
>they make choices as to what constructed characteristics they adopt
>and wear as badges of Self. Why is it that the American members seem
>to adopt this celticity more than the Scottish, Welsh, Irish,
>Cornish, etc. members? How have you (to all those who explicitly
>identify as celtic) decided what makes something celtic celtic?
>Presumably there has been enough discussion on this list over the
>past few months about the problematic nature of describing certain
>pasts as celtic. It is interesting, then, that so many people
>continue to make real in their own lives certain fictions. This is
>not a problem as such, in that all identities are constructed. But
>the apparent need to justify contemporary definitions of the Self by
>appropriating the past can become problematic (I'm thinking here of
>some New Age cultural colonialist practices in which white people
>steal the last remaining things to steal from the 'indians': their
Regarding your comments which I have, perhaps wrongfully,interpreted to be
somewhat questioning of the right of Americans to latch onto Celtic
identities. I have also noticed from other sources that "down home" Celts
can't understand why we Celts in America take our heritage "so seriously."
Maybe this will cast some light on the subject.
First of all, remember, we are not here because our ancestors decided to go
on a sunday-school picnic in America! Some were sent here as prisoners, of
war, or otherwise. Many came because they were "booted out" of their
homeland, and others to avoid starvation or persecution. After departing
their homeland, many died at sea or in the American wilderness. Generally
our Celtic ancestors were on the "cutting edge" of American westward
expansion, hacking farms out of the forest and clashing repeatedly with
Don't forget that "we" were also involved successfully in a revolution to
break ties with the English who were responsible for "our" being here in the
first place. Celtic immegrants have played an important part in building a
great nation from the wilderness and are still involved in trying to keep it
great. In short, we know who we are and from whence we came! Needless to
say, we do not "cotton" to being referred to as "Anglos."