1997.156.6

Two men building a corn stack

Photograph of two men building a corn stack.

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Courtesy of Mrs Mairi Campbell

The two men are building a corn stack or ‘mulan’ which will provide winter feeding for horses, cattle and hens and seed for spring sowing. In the background is a row of haystacks. Corn stacks were built with the heads of the sheaves to the centre so the finished stack contained a column of seed.

Four sheaves were placed upright in the centre with further sheaves added around the centre, working clockwise. The sheaves were always kept with the seed uppermost so any moisture would run away from it down the straw.

The diameter of the stack was carefully measured using a special rope, either six or seven fathoms long, marked with a knot at one end and a block at the other. The stack was re-measured every two rows to keep it straight. These traditional methods are still in use today by a few crofters on the island.

Black and white photograph of building a cornstack at Whitehouse.

The two men are building a corn stack which will provide winter feeding for horses, cattle and hens and seed for spring sowing. In the background is a row of haystacks. At harvest time, the cut corn would be bundled by hand into sheaves, six of which would be stood together to form stooks. When sufficiently dry, the stooks would be transported by horse and cart to the stackyard. Corn stacks were built with the heads of the sheaves to the centre so the finished stack contained a column of seed. These traditional methods are still in use today by a few crofters on the island.

Object Details

Other Number: B7
Normal Location: Photograph Shelves: photographs – B1-99
Current Location: normal location

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