‘Aig a’ Mhuc Mhara’
Photograph of a stranded whale.
Courtesy of Mr Ronnie MacLean
Before the development of paraffin lamps, lighting in Tiree’s houses was provided by small oil lamps known in Gaelic as ‘crùisgean’. Oil from various fish was used but whales stranded on the shore were another important source.
The Statistical Account of 1845 recorded that ‘…shoals of small whales sometimes frequent our bays; and the people have become very expert at driving them ashore with boats… They are commonly from 15 to 20 feet long, and their blubber yields about a barrel of oil, each.’ From this description, they are most likely to have been Long-finned Pilot Whales.
This photograph titled ‘Aig a’ Mhuc Mhara’ (At the whale), of what is probably a Northern Bottle-nosed Whale, came from a small album from Silversands in Vaul and dates from the 1920s or early 1930s.
Black and white photograph of two unknown women and a dead whale from a small album from Silversands.
`Aig a` Mhuc Mhara` (at the whale) from a small album from Silversands, Vaul, titled `Idle Days` probably dating from the 1920s or early 1930s.