Sunday 12 October 2008

Aran Islands, Ireland

Never posted, but dated 28 June 2005.

The beautiful Aran Islands, Co. Galway, Ireland.
The three Aran Islands lie some 30 miles out to sea from Galway. The everyday language of the islanders is Irish and their songs and stories enshrine much of Ireland's folklore and culture. Through unremitting toil the islanders have made soil from sand and seaweed to provide sustenance for their livestock. From these hard won acres and the surrounding sea they wrest their livelihood.

The Aran Islands are the original home of the Aran jumper, traditionally knitted in untreated and un-dyed sheeps' wool, still containing lanolin to make the garment somewhat water resistant. This untreated wool is called báinín . Although the tradition is often thought to stretch back centuries, there is no record of the knitting from before the 1900s. I remember my grandmother, although not from Aran, knitting báinín (pronounced bawnyeen) jumpers for the family.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. Aran jumpers, eh? To the less-Irish of the outside world, this conjures up images of despairing islanders who have lost their entire life savings in the stock markets taking a final plunge from tall buildings.

    But I find it is only sweaters.

    Really nice sweaters, though. Not sure about the lanolin constantly autolubing my pristine flawless skin, though. :)

    Are you SURE someone actually sent a postcard from these islands? I myself have had occasion to visit an Irish island, at least in fantastic fantasy, but do not recall a postcard. Or the desire at that time to send one.

    I may be wrong.

  2. The landscape is all so amazingly symmetrical and green. Simply lovely.

  3. These islands are beautiful and its wonderful how they have stayed relatively pure over the centuries.

    Don't worry about moderating comments- no one wants to have their blog overrun with spammers or morons.

  4. It looks so beautiful and peacedul.
    It's the ideal place for stress release.:)

  5. Where do I start Max? Yes, I knew I was treading on dangerous ground using the word "jumpers", but sweaters doesn't sound very ...pleasant... to my ear, and jumpers is the word I have always used. QED. ;) Yes, I am certain the cards were sent. Please bear in mind there are other islands and that these ones are off the west coast. The fantasy island is no doubt very different - after all who needs postcards when you have a fantasy?

    @Joanne, green yes, Ireland really is green. And wet. :)

    @Texas Wanderer, thanks. It is remarkable how they have managed to preserve their way of life in modern times.

    @iwalk, true, it must be very peaceful.


Welcome to my postcard collection! I love hearing what you think of the cards - but spam WILL be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...