Foxes, Owls, and Other Birds

by Gethin Thomas October. 07, 2020 215 views

[63-365] 7th. October 2020-

"West Country thatchers have been making straw figures for centuries, a tradition that can be traced back to the dollies placed on hayricks. These were used to identify the owner and deter foraging birds – and at one time were also intended to ward off evil spirits and witches. The descendants of these old talismans are now proudly mounted on some of the most exclusive country properties.

Traditionally straw finials were made of tightly twisted wheat; now they are usually encased in protective wire netting. As the wheat decays, the straw body collapses and is blown to pieces by the wind. Left behind are empty shells: shadowy outlines, hovering above the rooftops like ghosts."

(The Guardian)

All of these examples are in one tiny hamlet, Stokenham in the South Hams.

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R Kuerbovich 6 months, 1 week ago

Very interesting! I wonder how British thatching techniques influenced (or were influenced by) African techniques in Zimbabwe and South Africa

6 months, 1 week ago Edited