Man using a caschrom, South Uist

  'Ancient Hand-Plough, the caschrom, a hand operated plough, South Lochboisdale, Isle of South Uist, 1934.   The caschrom, bent stick, is made of a naturally bent tree branch, or of two pieces of wood at an obtuse angle: a shaft up to six feet long and a head about two and a half feet long, which is flattened towards the tip to take an iron 'sock' with a cutting edge. It is hand-operated with the foot on the wooden footrest, putting weight behind the operation.   When the soil is penetrated by the iron sock the crofter turns it over with a rhythmic movement in which the 6 foot handle comes into play. The clods are lifted and turned by the long handle. It is only with infinite trouble that the inhabitants cultivate a few small fields with a tool that would have died out long ago were it not for the fact that the rocks of this granitic soil crop up everywhere which makes ploughing difficult to accomplish.'   Dr Kissling's note, 1978
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Dr Werner Kissling
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