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Collectors & Explorers

Dr Werner Kissling

Two pictures rope twisting, South Boisdale, South Uist

"One of the most elementary requirements of those who tend animals, and with the harvest on land or sea, is the rope. In rural Scotland, especially in isolated districts of the Outer Isles, traditional methods of rope-making have been surviving quite recently, and the tools and devices fashioned by the humble folk of old Scotland may be in use to the present day. The method of making hay rope with an old style wooden twister "Corthsugan" requires two workers, one to feed the rope, another to twist. When dry, hay gathered in sheaves was fastened with hay rope, as were the conical stacks. Ropes of all kinds were needed, mainly to secure thatch - wire netting being a very poor substitute."
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council