Isles of the West Coast

Crofters with baskets. St Andrews Special CollectionsSee also Lewis, Monach and Skye

Marram grass sacks for other uses

The Reverend John Lane Buchanan noted from the 1780s in the Outer Hebrides that ‘Every beggar, male and female, must carry their blankets on their backs in a kind of sack made of grass, from house to house to sleep …Continue reading “Marram grass sacks for other uses”

Tabh. A North Uist fishing net

Carex flacca

  The tabh was a conical fishing net made of the roots of Carex flacca, commonly known as blue sedge or glaucous sedge. These roots are particularly strong. It was used by placing the net at the mouth of a …Continue reading “Tabh. A North Uist fishing net”

Baskets and Cereal Grinding. Outer Hebrides

Various woven containers are associated with grinding cereals, whether by hand or in the Norse Mills. 1.Woven sacks or ‘seic’. These were made of ropes of rushes. Various freestanding containers made of docken stalks, straw and marram grass 2. ‘Sasag’, …Continue reading “Baskets and Cereal Grinding. Outer Hebrides”

Crofting Life in the Outer Hebrides through the eye of a basket maker.

People carrying creels, Arnol Black House

  Like any other community before the ready availability of plastic items, baskets made in natural materials were essential to life. In the Outer Hebrides one basket was used for many jobs. The creel. Now creel as a description can …Continue reading “Crofting Life in the Outer Hebrides through the eye of a basket maker.”

What we know about back and pony creels of the Highlands and Islands

John Gillies with his sons Callum and Ian, carrying peat creels near their home on Eilean Fladday, off Raasay. Gairloch Museum and Archive

In the Highlands and Islands creels enabled people and ponies to carry peat, seaweed, potatoes and other produce across rough ground that wheeled carts were not able to access. Usually made of willow, but sometimes with heather, they were made …Continue reading “What we know about back and pony creels of the Highlands and Islands”

Grain sack from South Uist

Grain sack from South Uist

Similar to the plata-mhuilinn, this South Uist grain sack from Carnan is also woven from bent grass. It has 2 twisted grass handles rather than the eight handles of the Monach Island basket. It is similarly made from one flat …Continue reading “Grain sack from South Uist”

Plata-mhuilinn

Plata-mhuilinn

The plata-mhuilinn was a form of grain basket from `Heisker’, or the Monach Isles, which lie to the west of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides.It is made from bent grass, or marram. Growing abundantly on the island dunes, bent …Continue reading “Plata-mhuilinn”