You appear to be using a browser that is no longer supported. You may find that you are unable to use all features on the site. We recommend upgrading or changing your browser, if possible.
Skip to main content
Search... Open this section

Eriskay - A Poem of Remote Lives (clip 1)

A study of Eriskay's crofting life

  • Print All


A film made by Dr Kissling during a sailing holiday and summer spent on the island. Crofters cut hay with sickles. A pony led by a crofter woman carries a load of dried peat to the house. Men take a pony up onto the moor to collect more cut peat. Older crofters stack the cut hay in stooks. Men herd the sheep into a stone pen and we see rams fighting and locking their horns. The sheep are then dipped and released.

Questions & Activities


  • Where is Eriskay?
  • What type of houses can you see?
  • Do you think this is a romantic portrait of a community?
  • Do you think the sound was recorded at the same time as the picture?


Discuss the tone of this film and compare it with the tone of other films about crofting in the collection like 'The Shepherds of Bernaray', 'A Crofter's Life in Shetland' and 'St Kilda - Britain's Loneliest Isle (clip 3)'. You may also want to discuss who this film was made for and where it would be shown.

Can you identify the song (sung in Gaelic) and talk about its content? Why was it included in this film?

Talk about why people lived this way on the islands and what their lifestyles entailed. Were they living individually or communally? Where did their income come from? Create a story about a character in the film.

Updated October 2022

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-213-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 1701
Date 1935
Genre Documentary
School Subject English, Gaelic, Geography, History, Social Studies
Who Dr Werner Kissling (director)
Where Eriskay
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 10:05
Film Length 19:00