Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Fuggic Knotwork

Wow.  The shit that passes for 'Celtic' these days never ceases to amaze me.

Now, I have no problem with people taking inspiration from Irish/Pictish/Anglo-Saxon/Gallic/Viking/Whatever-else-have-you knotwork and making some sort of fantastical pastiche.  We've been doing it since the 19th century, and without it neither Art Nouveau nor LotR Elven architecture would have been the same.  But I do have a problem with how it's advertised.  

First off, must people keep calling it 'Celtic?'  The term is very general and not associated with any single culture or ethnicity; it is used by linguists to describe a particular language group, and all other definitions are hotly contested.  In addition, people have a tendency to apply it to all knotwork of northern Europe, forgetting that the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, whose languages were Germanic, not Celtic, have inspired more modern knotwork designs than the Irish!  

Secondly, is it too much to expect that reenactment sites, which claim to be historical, would try to provide believable examples instead of total fantasy?

Apparently it is.  If archeological digs have turned up any tiaras, they were planted there by time travelers.

Um, what's the point of a penannular brooch with a pin that doesn't function?  And given that this thing's sporting a foliate pattern that looks more Byzantine than northern, I'd like to know why it's called 'Celtic' at all.

This was in the Celtic section.  Yes, the Celtic section.  Because mixing modern fantasy dragons with Anglo-Saxon knotwork is so very Celtic!

These little gems come from Chivalry Sports, which makes a lot of noise about being your One Stop Shop for all things Ren/Medieval.  But all too often, its products are absolute crap.


  1. I think those who seek to find inexpensive but authentic, quality costumes need to just come to the reality that no costume that's mass-produced and sold on product sites like these will be acceptable. The quality items, the beautiful pieces you see at events are not purchased on randomcostumesite.com... they're meticulously made by the wearer or someone who makes only a few pieces a year. Anyone going to a standard costume site expecting more than just acetate and crap is deluded.

  2. worse, I think the dragon thing (tagged "celtic") is based on ASIAN dragons.

  3. If you want to see more of this type of 'Celtic' nonsense then go to any tattoo studio. Any knot-work design is labelled Celtic. The recent Anglo-Saxon treasure - the Staffordshire Hoard - is also being described as 'Celtic', even though it's Anglo-Saxon, i.e. English. They're just trying to sell cheap facsimiles of the treasure on the back of a so-called romantic Celtic image - i.e. ripping off someone else's culture, namely our English culture!