Sticks have been used to aid stability, as a weapon and as a symbol of authority since the earliest of times, in ancient Egypt a stick was an object of prime importance, it commonly remained with the owner in death, to protect the deceased on their travels. In the Middle Ages even bishops carried sticks, some containing hiding places for money, precious stones and secrete weapons. In my area, as in many, the working stick or crook came into being with the arrival of sheep.

 Towards the end of the 18th century, tenant crofters (small farmers) were evicted from their homes across the Scottish Highlands to make way for sheep farming. From 1792 “The year of the sheep” displaced families began to arrive in Badbea, a small area of rough, steeply sloping land, squeezed between the high drystone wall of the sheep enclosures and the precipitous cliffs of Berriedale. (Where I live and work)



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