materiality of life in gaelic ulster? systems of inheritance discourage capital development from top to bottom. homes of major players described as humble by european visitors. castle seen as much as a liability as a strength in that it could be taken from you and turned against you. redistribution of fields discourages improvement of land with wall, hedges or manuring. regular raiding by neighbouring tribal groups discourages ownership of 'nice' things. Non-nucleated settlement people much more mobile. people had a different relationship with things- too many heavy to carry or move (especially if being pursued), difficult to secure, difficult to maintain. Quite possible that late medieval Gaelic people had a different relationship with objects than descendants from early modern onward. lack of market, cashless society meant that knowledge of how to make more important than the objects themselves. organic materials wood, animal skins, prevalent in material culture as easier to manipulate the iron or clay. we live in a world where we value objects differently because they hold different values- often related to status and monetary value over use/necessity value- these less prevalent in medieval gaelic ulster.