In an ongoing recovery of our forgotten Celtic history and culture / heritage Niamh and Con have visited four museums that are known to hold artifacts of our ancestor’s footwear. We started with the National Museum of Ireland in Kildare St Dublin, went to Armagh and Belfast Museums and most recently we were at the Museum of London Archaeology.
Having studied archaeology with NUIG I made the appropriate requests to access and photograph the artifacts in the 4 museums for research purposes. I signed the various forms and was given every support from the staff of all four museums. What has come out of this ‘hands-on’ research is absolutly amazing!
It will take a while to process my findings and present it all in a professional but accessible way as you can imagine. It is my intention to recreate actual complete pairs of each shoe variation of the Gaelic Slipper so that people can see, feel and get a real sense of the sophistication of the high status shoes our ancestors wore.
As Irish Celtic Shoes; we are rebirthing a Celtic Identity that is relevant to the modern day. By understanding the wealth, skills and crafts of our ancestors we can grow a new Celtic Nation together. Gaining exposure for these noble Irish Celtic Shoes is just one step in the reemergence of our modern Celtic identity. The little red shoe in the picture is my hand craftwork, I’m a modern Celtic Druid and a leather craftworker and teacher and also a member of the Design and Craft Council of Ireland. I have been specialising in researching and recrafting medieval Irish footwear for over 12 years facilitating at exhibitions in our National Museums, Heritage Centers, and at festivals and craft fairs all over Ireland. I have had a life long passion for our Celtic history, culture and heritage. I give an exciting slide show and lecture presentation on museum shoe artifacts supported by a selection of my own handmade copies. This use of ‘handling objects’ brings the idea of ancient shoes alive again as people get to feel, smell and look at copies of a long forgotten part of our heritage.
I will often say -
“Not only did the Irish wear shoes and Brehon Law frown upon our people going barefoot, but the high status shoes worn by nobility were astonishingly sophisticated and uniquely indigenous to Celtic Ireland.”
pic by Niamh