The Harris Tweed® Journal

Astar

26th May

From the land, comes the cloth, comes the language…

‘Astar’ (/astər/)
Sheep will always return to the area of moorland in which they spent their first summer. This is called their ‘astar’ or ‘innis’.

Typically the sheep would spend the summer out on the moors, on higher ground. In the past this would be a time to take livestock to the moorland and spend the summer months at the sheiling, àirigh, summer house. This transhumance was practiced until the 1950s – 60s.

Our Gaelic Moorland Word of the Week comes from ‘Rathad an Isein, The Bird’s Road: a Lewis Moorland Glossary’, a compilation by Anne Campbell.

Photograph by Lewis Mackenzie

silhouette of sheep with description

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