Celtic Red Hair From Vikings?

Jun 11, 2015 by

If you have Scottish and/or Irish ancestry AND red hair, you probably also have VIKING ancestry, according to a new study.

The director for Nordic Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands says red hair is modern evidence of the influence of the ancient Vikings in Celtic lands.

Professor Donna Heddle is the director for both the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Centre for Nordic Studies. She is a leading expert on the Norse and has reached the conclusion that Scotland’s famous red hair is a vestige from the invading Vikings. If the compelling case which Heddle makes is true, it means the Vikings were very successful at spreading their DNA in this Northern kingdom.

Heddle explains that the perception that the invading Vikings were blond is a myth. The Vikings were likely red headed. Relatively few people in the world have red hair. Statistics are that only 0.6% of the population have that hair color. However, countries with the highest concentrations of red hair are all part of ancient Viking trading routes. Scandinavia, though long stereotyped for a high number blonds, has a high concentration of red haired people.

“The perception that the Norse were blond is nothing more than a prevalent myth,” she said. “Genetically speaking, the chances of them having blond hair weren’t that likely. The chances are that they would have had red hair. Interestingly, if you look at where red hair occurs in the world you can almost map it to Viking trading routes.”

Professor Heddle explains that in Ireland, the red hair concentrations are in the areas where the Vikings settled. She states that an observation of dispersal patterns shows a dark red spot in Scotland and a corresponding spot in Scandinavia. There is nothing similar to be found in Europe which lends further credence that the DNA gene for red hair had to have been imported from the Vikings and the Norse.

Source: Vikings Responsible for Scottish Red Hair Gene? | eCanadaNow

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The Altar Wedge Tomb of Toormore Bay

Aug 7, 2014 by

On our second day in County Cork, we drove down to Mizen Head, and stopped along the way to see the Altar wedge tomb. This late Stone Age tomb is easily accessible from R592, about seven km west of Schull–just pull off into the well-marked parking area, walk a few feet and there it sits, facing out towards Ireland’s lovely Toormore Bay.

Altar wedge tomb

Altar Wedge Tomb on the Mizen Peninsula

The location of the tomb, facing southwest towards Mizen Peak, seems a bit like a Disney exhibit to some visitors because of the tomb’s carefully mown verge, its close proximity to a busy road and its endless stream of visitors. It is very much an ancient sacred site, however, with evidence showing it was used by Stone Age, Bronze Age and early Celtic peoples as a ritual site. Archaeological work in the mid-1990’s found burnt human remains dating back 2000-3000 years ago. Between 1250 and 500 BC, shallow pits were dug inside, probably to hold food offerings, and ancient Iron Age Celts filled a pit inside the tomb with seashells and whale bones, some time between 124 and 224 AD.

 

Altar Wedge tomb

Entrance to Altar Wedge Tomb, on Ireland’s Mizen Peninsula

The rise of Christianity in Ireland brought an end to the ritual use of the Altar wedge tomb site. In the 18th century, the tomb was used as a Mass altar by local priests who had been forbidden by English authorities from conducting Mass in a church, giving rise to the stone structure being called the Altar Tomb.

Altar Wedge Tomb view

View to Mizen Peak and Toormore Bay from the Altar Wedge Tomb in Ireland

If you’re in west Cork, you should consider a trip down to Mizen Head to see the Altar wedge tomb. It’s easy to find, easy to access and the views out to the bay are phenomenal– a marvelously megalithic moment in Irish history, preserved in stone for the ages.

 

For more info on the Altar wedge tomb and other ancient sites in Ireland, try Megalithic Ireland’s website HERE.

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The Empty Chair

Jul 6, 2014 by

 

Irish brewing company Guinness has a new video that shows the best way to end the American Fourth of July holiday weekend—with a nicely poured pint of Guinness… and a patriotic reminder that out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind.

 

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Grá mo Chroí, Irish Love of My Heart

Feb 10, 2014 by

In case you want to send someone a Celtic love note for Valentine’s Day….
Grá mo chroí–Irish Gaelic for “love of my heart.” Phonetic pronunciation is (roughly) “graw muh khree ” –the ch in chroi is pronounced like the ch in loch or Bach.

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Valentine’s Day KILTED Eye Candy

Feb 3, 2014 by

 

Looking for an alternative to the same old Valentine’s Day gift of candy? Try some kilted eye candy!  Our 2014 Kilted Up calendar is loaded with kilted guys, and a portion of the proceeds goes to support the Wounded Warrior Project, so you’re actually giving two gifts.  Plus, we’re sharing the love by taking 14% off your total at check out!

Mr March: Kilted Celtic Hottie and Irish Wolfhounds

Mr March: Kilted Celtic Hottie and Irish Wolfhounds

As our March calendar model, Tim, clearly shows–KILTED eye candy is the BEST kind of candy to give a special someone.

Click HERE to order the 2014 KILTED UP calendar, just $14.99 at lulu.com–the perfect gift for a special someone, friends (especially ones who’ve never seen a kiltie!) or family.

SALE!! Take 14% off your total purchase by using code AMOR14 at checkout!

Support our Wounded Warriors AND show off your Scottish heritage by proudly displaying our Men in Kilts calendar!

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Get KILTED UP for Cupid!

Jan 26, 2014 by

Candy and flowers are the old standbys on Valentine’s Day, but this year give something with a real WOW factor–KILTS!   Our 2014 Kilted Up calendar is loaded with kilted guys, and a portion of the proceeds goes to support the Wounded Warrior Project, so you’re actually giving two gifts. Plus, we’re sharing the love by taking 14% off your total at check out!

kiltedvalindex

Click HERE to order the 2014 KILTED UP calendar,  just $14.99 at lulu.com–the perfect gift for a special someone, friends (especially ones who’ve never seen a kiltie!) or family. Preview the calendar HERE.

SALE!! Take 14% off your total purchase by using code AMOR14 at checkout!

Support our Wounded Warriors AND show off your Scottish heritage by proudly displaying our Men in Kilts calendar!

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Ava Gardner: Sassy Celtic Lassie

Jan 21, 2014 by

Beautiful Ava Gardner, a queen amongst the royalty of vintage Hollywood, was born in North Carolina into a poor farming family. She was truly a Wild Eyed Southern Celtic lass, with green eyes, non-stop curves and a bawdy wit. She had both Irish and Scots-Irish heritage from her mother and father.

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A few of my favorite quotes from Ava Gardner:

When I lose my temper, honey, you can’t find it any place.

 

Although no one believes me, I have always been a country girl and still have a country girl’s values.

 

I wish to live until 150 years old but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.

 

Oscar Wilde would have loved Ava Gardner.

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