Sarah & all,
>I believe that the Celts were a cultural
>group of Indo-Europeans that spread throughout much of Western Europe, into
>the east (Galatia) and sacked Rome. Gradually, they were driven into
>Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Scotland by advancing waves of competing
>cultural groups. They shared a common language and worldview.
I think that they didn't have one common tongue (at least in any historical
times anyway) - the Gaelic/Brittonic split at least shows this. How far back
this goes is hard to say, & the Gaulish/Galatian language again has been
often seen as different in many ways from the Brittonic.
>> Why is it that the American members seem
>>to adopt this celticity more than the Scottish, Welsh, Irish,
>>Cornish, etc. members?
>Probably because we live in a country that can only truly be claimed by the
>Native Americans we wrested it from.
As a native Irishman I at least have an intense sense not just of my
Irishness but of my Celticness within a Celtic world. And proud of it. More
& more the people of the Celtic nations are "coming out" and standing up in
the face of indifferent states & the world at large & proclaiming their
Celticity & nationality proudly. Not with the idealised attitude of the
descendents of former exiles (which is due I think to their detachment from
the source of their pride as much as anything else).
>what makes something celtic celtic?
In the eyes of many precise-minded types Celtic means related to the ways of
peoples who speak or have recently spoken (in historical times) a Celtic
language. More generally, I feel people who call themselves Celts do so
because they have an ancestral link to people originating within the six
modern Celtic nations, and because they see this as a source of culture that
they can identify with and be proud of. And why not? I am inclined to agree.
After all, the "Celtic" peoples of 2000 years ago were a mixed bunch of tall
& short, blonde, red-haired, dark haired, swarthy, fair skinned etc etc etc
from across western Europe. What they shared was a (reasonably) common world
view, closely related languages & religious & social systems. Is this not
what the new Celts of the new world and beyond have in common, or aspire to?
Culture that grows & develops in this way, absorbing influences, mixing &
matching ideas, spreading geographically is alive & developing. The new
Celts of the Americas etc are surely the vanguard of the new (virtual)
Celtic Empire. And we are its telephone exchange, as it were.
>I've subbed this list for over a year, and one of the recurring human
>I've witnessed is the influx of new subscribers, full of hopeful yearning,
>many of them (EECK!)Americans. They actually want to learn about or explore
>issues of what it might mean to be a modern Celt, and a list that calls
>itself "Celtic-L" seems like a perfectly logical place to start. And so the
>chatter begins, only to be cut short by people who've been on this list for
>a wee bit longer, and want to insist that we can't define Celts, that Celts
>never truly existed, and that by even trying to define them we are
>these people with our gross ignorance and chasing after moonbeams. So all
>these seekers stop posting, and the list volume goes down to zip, and
>everyone starts wondering if they accidentally unsubbed or if the list is
>having technical problems. I have more than once asked myself why so many
>people that don't believe it is possible to define or examine Celtic
>subscribe to a list that identifies itself as Celtic?
>Sincerely, Respectfully, and Bemusedly Yours-
>Sarah Armstrong Joyal
Speak the truth, sister!! Shout it load!! I'm a Celt & I'm proud!! In the
words of the great Popeye "I yam whadda yam". This is what we are here for,
surely. Can we get on with talking about what matters & see if we can help
out these bright eyed newcomers. Maybe they'll turn out to be the great
helper subscribers of the future.
Stiofa/n mac Amhalgaidh. "MAQQI"