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The Heather in Lore, Lyric and Lay
Economics of the Heather - Miscellaneous Use


One of the other uses to which Heather was put is described by the translator of Ossian: "The ancient manner of preparing feasts after hunting is handed down by tradition. A pit lined with smooth stones was made; and near it stood a heap of stones of the flint kind. The stones as well as the pit were properly heated with heath. Then they laid some venison in the bottom, and a stratum of the stones above it; and this they did alternately till the pit was full. The whole was covered over with heath to confine the steam. Whether this is probable, I cannot say, but some pits are shown which the vulgar say were used in that manner.

In Fingal occurs the following passage: "It was on Cromla's shaggy side that Dorglas placed the deer; the early fortune of the chase before the herdes left the hill. A hundred youths collect the heath; then the heroes blow the fires; three hundred chuse the polished stone. The feast is smoking wide."

In the Hebrides the fisherman strips the Heather of its leaves and flowers and ties the stems into large bundles which he lays across the stream and holds down by stones, the tops of the Heather being always turned toward the current.


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