Studied in England and Ireland, Summer 2012
The Irish island of Inis Mòr is covered in hand-made rock walls just like these, separating pastures, lining roads, and protecting against the sea. The island is, in many ways, a preserved gem of Irish culture. Many of its residents still practice traditional farming techniques, regularly play Irish music, and fluently carry on conversations in Gaelic. Even the walls themselves are an excellent look into Irish history and culture. This land was not arable at all when farmers first arrived due to its rock content, so they had to remove the stones by hand. This served a dual-purpose, as the farmers then used the rocks to build fences marking their territory and protecting against outsiders. These stone relics, some of which are many, many years old and yet still in use, show just how hard the Irish work to support their families and make a livelihood in such a unique land.