Learning Among the Oak Groves: A Look at Celtic Life

Tames Alan is an actress, historian, and fashion history teacher who has combined her skills to create an educational lecture for people of all ages. In this program, Tames talks about what it was like to live in ancient Britain at the time of the Roman invasion. She explains the hierarchy of the Celtic tribe and the binding factors between the tribes–the Druids and Bards. She also talks about the Celtic holidays and tells how and why they were celebrated and about the very special relationship the Celts had with the lands and waters they worshipped. She explains the training a person received for his rites of passage and for his chosen craft, be it smith, hunter, or herdsman.

Part of her program centers on Celtic women and their training as wives, warriors, and leaders of worship. Included is a discussion of art, music, and dance. As with her other Living History Lectures, a question and answer period follows. This program is suitable for elementary grades on up. It has been given as a general history program to younger students, a cultural background program for students of British history, and as a clothing program for costume and textile students. The program is especially beneficial for college-level history students because of the hands-on experience they gain concerning the Celtic era of British history. It is also a fun cultural event for general adult audiences and lovers of history and clothing.

With so many people in North America being of Celtic descent, this program gives an insight into how our ancient ancestors lived during the height of their empire. Tames studied theater and history at Willamette University in Oregon, and theater at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and Dell Arte School in California. Throughout her theatrical career, she maintained her interest in history and costuming. Tames has taught fashion history at the Art Institute of Seattle, offering a class that combined fashion history, social history, and women’s studies., More recently, she has been a speaker for the Washington State Commission for the Humanities in their Inquiring Minds series.