There are many places to seek replica Celtic arms and armor on the Web, at many levels of price and quality (both of which can vary widely). Usually, you have to slog through dozens of sites, comparing prices, before you get the right piece at the right price.
However, there is now an alternative to all that bother. KoA (not to be confused with the campground chain or certain sound-alike secret societies) is a terrific "one-stop shopping" resource for those seeking high-quality and accurate reproductions of historic arms and armor of Celtic origin, as well as those of many other periods and cultures, both historic and fantasy, either to kit yourself out for re-enactments or just to fill a hole in a collection with that certain rare item that is completely unavailable (at least in your financial range).
Ryan Whittlinger and his Merry Men (and women!) at Kult of Athena have assembled some of the finest reproduction arms and armor from well-known makers and suppliers all over the world, from A to Z (well, to "W" at least), famous names including Albion, CAS Iberia, Cold Steel, Del Tin, Hanwei, Marto, and Windlass (to name but a few) with prices for every budget. They stock the finest available products at highly competitive prices - and though some of the products are from off-shore (though high-quality) they also carry American made items from companies such as Albion, and employ Americans at their HQ and warehouse in IL.
They stock a wide range of Celtic swords, spears, axes, shields, dirks and daggers, from ancient times through the 19th century, and from many other cultures and periods.
(And when I say "stock" I mean stock - not "drop-ship" or order after your order comes in! They have an actual warehouse with many of the weapons and equipment they advertise - over 4000 at present. (See their FAQ for details and a lot of other good reasons to buy from them.)
In addition to weaponry of all sorts, they have the gear to carry them in the form of belts, baldrics, etc. They also carry period jewelry, clothing, etc. So if you are in the market for Celtic weapons or equipment (or for that matter, almost any type of weapons and equipment), have a look at Kult of Athena first!
I recently received word from my old friend Bill Ochs (master whistle player, uilleann piper, and Irish music researcher) that his most recent project is out!!
This long-awaited double-CD consists of unreleased and out-of-print recordings of the late, great, tin whistle virtuoso, Micho Russel, and an accompanying pamphlet giving the historic context.
This new CD collection is titled "Rarities & Old Favorites 1949–1993: Tin Whistle, Flute & Songs from North Clare and Beyond.” It is accompanied by a booklet giving the historic context.
I will be ordering a copy. Though I have Micho’s earlier recording, this will certainly be an archival treasure, with Bill’s excellent research accompanying it.
Bill is singularly well-qualified for this project, as he has devoted over thirty-five years to studying, researching, playing and teaching the whistle and pipes. Among other great mentors, he has studied under master pipers including the late Andy Conroy, Pat Mitchell and my own mentor, the late Tom Standeven in Ireland and the U.S.
Bill has rightly been called a "central figure in the renaissance of the tin whistle” (NPR's "All Things Considered”) and "the leading tin whistle teacher in North America” ("Irish Voice”).
He is also a prolific researcher and writer, being the author of (among other things) the definitive “Clarke Tin Whistle Handbook” (called "The best whistle tutorial on the planet.” by Dale Wisely of the premiere whistle and pipe site, "Chiff and Fipple”), now in its twenty-first printing with over 250,000 copies in print.
Bill and his work on the Clarke whistle are also formally recognized by the Clarke Tin Whistle company, makers of the original tin whistle.
He is also the producer of the earlier Micho Russell recording, "Ireland's Whistling Ambassador” (which I have enjoyed for years) and was co-producer of the great Cathal McConnell’s "Long Expectant Comes At Last” (both recordings were nominated for "Best Celtic Album of the Year" in the NAIRD Indie Awards).
(Bill’s own piping and tin whistle playing can be heard on the Rounder CDs "Light Through The Leave” and "Irish Piping, Flutes, and Whistles"
J. Higgins are specialists in outfitting Police, Fire, Veterans and Masonic pipe bands, honor guards, and other groups. They carry a large selection of Kilts, Highland wear, bagpipes, and a full line of Highland, Irish, and Celtic accessories, with something to suit every taste and budget.
Their well-made and well-designed garments look sharp and are reasonably priced - and the more so when you consider that they are based right in America's Heartland in Lenexa, KS.
American owned and operated, they provide real value for money, so when you shop for Highland, Irish or other Celtic apparel, you can also shop American