Friday, November 13, 2009

Don't fence me in

Here's a typical fence around my parts, made with split pine poles, lashed with willow.

While we all realize the old-timers knew a lot about predicting the weather, tracking animals, butchering, harvesting and so on, I think we easily forget how much time they spent trying to keep the wild creatures on the outside, and the tame animals on the inside.

This kind of fence is known as a "skigard", after the slanted poles which are called "ski". The etymology for this word is actually the same as what you get in "schizophrenia". The poles are cleaved. The soul is cleaved. This is even the same root as in the word "shit". You split up, you part, you cleave, as it were.

Those old indo-europeans sure knew how everything connects to everything else.


coastkid said...

i saw a fence like that on a ray mears programme once,he replicated the knots that joined it and said how so much bushcraft has been lost,would it also work like a snow fence so the live stock could still graze?

Oldfool said...

That is a great fence. Built with nothing but an axe and material from the land I'll bet. My grandparents with third grade educations knew more than I about everything. I wish I had paid more attention.