If you have questions, we have answers. Many people are interested in kilts, and all things Celtic, but are unsure of the history of this famous garment. Read on for some answers to our most commonly asked questions.
A torc is a neck ring that is stiff or rigid. It is either a solid piece of metal or braided strands of metal. Most torcs are open at the front. Initially, the torc was used to identify the rank or class of the wearer.
In Celtic history, torcs were mainly used to symbolize the wearer’s rank or status in society. The torc was a visible sign of wealth and often reserved for nobility. In many Celtic cultures, the wearer would use torcs during battle or rituals.
Wearing a torc bracelet is similar to wearing a torc necklace. Torcs, by design, are open on one end. Sometimes, a torc would have a hook and ring closure or an interlocking clasp.
A torc bracelet, similar to a torc necklace, is a rigid piece of metal wrapped around the wrist, instead of the neck. The wearer can place the torc on either wrist, depending on preference.
A torc is made from a single length of metal, twisted strands of metal, or even potentially hollow metal tubes. A metalsmith or jewelry maker will manipulate and design the gold, silver, or bronze (or the chosen material) into a circle with an open end.
While it was common throughout history or Celts to wear torcs, they are not the only group to do so. It is perfectly acceptable for anyone who desires to wear a torc to wear one. Thankfully, there are many styles and designs to choose from.
Torcs were used for different purposes throughout history. Both men and women wore torcs and were often used to represent deities or supernatural characters. They could also be used to symbolize the wealth of the wearer. There are also many instances of ancient people using torcs in rituals, such as a burial ritual.
Many people see these solid necklaces and wonder how to put them on. Most often, the wear has to manipulate or bend the torc by opening the open end then reshaping the torc around the neck. Because of this method, they were not taken on and off regularly.
Torc, also spelled torque or torq, comes from the Latin word “torquis.” “Torquis” means “to twist.” The name is fitting as, generally, many pieces of metal are twisted together to create the torc.
Torcs are not just limited to Celtic tradition. Similar designs have been found in Viking, Iranian, and Greek societies, as well.