Sunday, 18 September 2011

Réttir 2011

Ross went on göngur and spent all day yesterday on the back of a horse, riding into the mountains to round up sheep.  He is very sore, tired but exhilarated.  It is Réttir...the time of the year when all the farmers go out and round up the sheep that have spent the summer free ranging in the mountains.  It doesn't really matter whose sheep you round up, they are all bought back to a large circular pen where they will be sorted.

It is a huge traditional social event where all friends and families, the old and the young come out to help sort the sheep or just to soak up the atmosphere as did Olga's 90 year old great aunt.   It runs roughly over 2 weekends, the main round up is in the first weekend and then the second is to gather all the sheep you missed in the first round...apparently those are the most difficult ones...the sheep who defy their not want to follow the leader and just do their own thing.

Last week Olga, Irma and myself took a look at the sorting process.  Once the sheep are in the huge circular pen, they are sorted into wedged shape pens that are around the edge...Olga has a great diagram on her blog from a couple of years ago here.  Each farmer has their own wedge pen and they identify their sheep by tags, ear markings or like Olga's uncle just by their faces...they are then dragged, pushed, shoved into their respective pens...gently of course.

Usually you just look for your own sheep but some of the kids tend to just grab any sheep and then struggle around with it looking for the right's no fun unless you are hanging onto a sheep.

 Here is a little video I took when we were in the circular pen with the sheep

We all managed to make it into the local news site Feykir, with pics of us at the Réttir you can see it here, Irma and I are in image 41 Sigga and Johanna are in image 45 and Olga is number 47.


  1. Haha, that link to my oh so professional diagram. Awesome.

    I must say, some of those kids missed the note on 'gentle' - I was pretty close to dragging one or two of them around the ring, see how they liked it.

    Twas good fun, though. Ross is pretty sore and tired today, he's currently upstairs having a nap with the little man!

  2. The pic of you and Aunty Irma #41 is a really nice picture of the two of you soaking up the surroundings.