Sunday, September 25, 2011

Celtic Warrior #3

This warrior Philip ap Gruffydd a veteran of the shield walls plaits his moustache to keep it tidy and to demonstrate his manliness. Facial hair held great store in 500 AD Britain for warriors as it easily showed age and therefore experience; poor warriors wouldn't last long in battle so it also showed that this warrior was a veteran and therefore a dangerous fighter.

Superstitious as the people were, linked to their paganism, hair held great magical properties and any hair cut from the body would have been burnt on the fire to ensure no one, In particular Druids, could use the hair to create spells or curses.

This could be where the tradition of giving or taking a lock of hair emerged, as hair was such a personally important and valuable resource; therefore a gift of hair is a gift of value and trust.

The helm is a simple iron and leather skull cap with no chin or nose guard adorns Philips head and offers some protection.

Oral hygiene or battle has seen Philip loose teeth. He is likely to be in his late 30's which would have been getting on a bit. Not many people, though some did, survived much beyond 40 years old and warriors with the punishment to their bodies over the years would find that slowing down through age would result in retirement through death in the shield wall. In 500 AD a boy became a man at 16 and soon after with a little training could have been fighting for his lord in his shield wall.

Philip is carved from a Sycamore log 9" tall by 3" diameter. The carving is 5 1/4" long by 3" wide. It's finished in Danish Oil with a brown oak stain. He is both wall and shelf standing. There are runes burnt into the top depicting his name.

Let me know what you think, this post has been completely posted through my new iPad using Snapseed App to edit the pictures. Some are enhanced with features of the App though the first two are natural.

As always your comments are gratefully received

~ Dave ~

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