What does it mean to keep tradition and culture alive?
In pockets around the globe, traditions of craft and artistry are woven (very often literally) into culture. In a world that seems to be moving quickly away from traditions, what can these last artisan strongholds teach us?
The Isle of Harris is one of those few pockets of the world where much of life is centered around a creative tradition.
Harris is best known for the strong weaving traditions that produce Harris Tweed. From sheep to the final product, all of it comes from the island.
The island of Lewis and Harris is the largest in the Outer Hebrides, a chain of islands off the western coast of Scottland. And on this edition of Saturday’s Around the World, we head to the Isle of Harris for a beautiful look at the craft and love that goes into creating Harris Tweed.
Let’s begin today with the stories of some of the weavers keeping their tradition alive. This first one is from National Geographic. As an organization, they are truly doing, supporting, and highlighting some truly amazing things in this world. They’ve got some amazing content to lose yourself in for an afternoon – check them out here!
From Sheep to Suit
I found these stories so compelling I took some time to dig into more videos about the Isle of Harris and its deeply rooted weaving traditions.
In my search, I found this great piece featuring the well known–and deeply entertaining– Allen Cummings as its co-host.
Here’s a fun, up-close look from a great channel, 1st Look, at the remarkable process that goes into creating the final Harris Tweed.
Inspiration from Nature
Finally, I want to leave you today with a beautiful video highlighting the natural beauty of the Isle of Harris.
For me, seeing these landscapes in Roger Kinder‘s video ties together the artistry of the cloth with its sense of place. Not to mention, it left we with an overwhelming sense of wanderlust.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip from the comfort of your own computer!
Make sure you tune in every Saturday to celebrate places that make this planet an amazing place to live!
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Oh, the places we’ve gone!
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- “Weaving Tradition: How Tweed Keeps a Community’s Heritage Alive | Short Film Showcase.” YouTube. National Geographic, 11 Dec. 2016. Web. 11 Jan. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkQFDurkG10>. ↩
- “Making Harris Tweed on the Isle of Harris…and Lewis.” YouTube. 1st Look, 20 Nov. 2016. Web. 11 Jan. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjhFZSWYEeU&t=2s>. ↩
- “Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.” YouTube. Roger Kinder, 21 Mar. 2016. Web. 11 Jan. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyYDSywiP0E>. ↩