Nicolina Jensen Beder is born in 1928 and hails from the village of Strendur. She inherited her interest in wool and her elders’ traditions and customs from her mother, who not only knew well how people worked with wool in the past, utilizing its every potential, but she was able to pass her knowledge on in vivid and captivating narrative.
Her mother lived to the ripe age of 92. She was able to knit stories and traditions together that spanned back into her childhood, tales about wool and the common life and celebrations of those who worked with it.
These roots, this inheritance, which Nicolina has nourished through her own long life, she now passes on to us in this book. These stories stretch back into the islands’ past peasant culture, a time when wool was the island’s cherished treasure.
We are told of the origins of the Faroese sheep and how it has been interbred with other breeds.
Nikolina travels throughout Suðuroy, discussing the unique culture surrounding the island’s sheep husbandry.
We participate in sheep sharing in several places and Nicolina does not shy away from stating her opinion on wool-handling today.
In meticulous detail we are told how wool is pulled, carded and spun.
We learn to tan sheepskin and sow sheepskin shoes.
We learn to colour wool with plants and grasses found on the Faroese heather.
This book is a gem of cultural history, intended both for those generally interested in this passing cultural heritage, and for those who continue to work with these materials, who teach others to make woolen clothes, to tan, spin, colour wool and so on.