Mòine: Gaelic vocabulary for peat

Tha sinn glè thoilichte gu bheil bloga aoighe eile againn bhon sgioba aig Dachaigh airson Stòras na Gàidhlig.  An turas-sa, tha Ceit Langhorne a’ toirt sùil air briathrachas na Gàidhlig ceangailte ris a’ mhòine  /We’re delighted to feature another guest blog from the team at the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic. This time, Kate Langhorne takes a look at some Gaelic vocabulary for various types of peat.

Chòrd brath-bloga rium na bu thràithe air a’ bhliadhna mun fharsaingeachd de dh’ainmhidhean is lusan na boglaiche, agus mar a chuireas gach rud ri bith-iomadachd an àite: dealt ruaidhe is canach, am measg eile. Seo far an do dh’ionnsaich mi fhìn gun cuir còinneach ris a’ mhòine. Bidh e a’ toirt comas don talamh uisge a ghlèidheadh agus a sgaoileadh.’S ann mar seo a thèid a’ mhòine a chruthachadh, far a bheil gainnead de mhathachas san talamh agus pailteas còinnich. Tha ‘ath-fhliuchadh’ de mhòine thioram ’s lom riatanach airson ath-stèidheachadh na mòna.

Dealt ruaidhe ’s còinneach, caraidean na mònach. Dealbh ©Lorne Gill, leabharlann SNH.

Dealt ruaidhe ’s còinneach, caraidean na mònach. Dealbh ©Lorne Gill, leabharlann SNH.

Chleachdadh mòine fad linntean mar chonnadh agus tha tòrr briathrachais ann an Gàidhlig a tha ceangailte rithe.

Ma bhios tuilleadh ’s a chòir uisge anns a’ mhòine bho chòinneach, aig an àm a thèid a togail, cha bhi mòran feum innte.’S e mòine dhubh an rud as fhèarr, a thèid a tiormachadh gu h-èifeachdach, ach tha i tiugh gu leòr ’s loisgidh i fad ùine fhada. ’S e am blàr mòine a theirte ris an àite far an togadh an sluagh i.

Thuirt neach-labhairt à Leòdhas gur e craos teine a th’ ann an teine a’ losgadh cho teth ris an deamhain, le mòine dhubh. Bidh breacadh nan eibhlean sa ghealbhain agaibh bho mhòine chailceach, ach cha lasair an leithid de theine. Thèid mòine chreadha neo mòine chailc a thogail bhon àite as doimhne sa pholl-mòna.

’S e caoran a th’ anns an ìre as ìsle den fhad. ’S e cìb, neo mòine chinn a theirte ris a’ chiad ìre den mhòine a tha eadar fliuch is tioram, anns am bi lusan beò. Ach an ann coltach ri mòine phlòiceach a tha seo? Tha Facal bhon t-Sluagh ag innse dhuinn gur e a’ mhòine seo a chùmadh eibheal san teine tron oidhche, agus ’s e mòine thasgaidh neo mòine amh a theirte ri seo.

Tha a’ mhòine bhàn agus a’ mhòine chòsach coltach ri chèile leis gu bheil a dhà dhiubh furasta tiormachadh ach thèid an losgadh ro luath ’s gun teas annta.’S e mòine phlòiteanach a theirte rithe ann an Cinn Tìre. Tha seo ro thioram, gun bhrìgh!

A’ buain na mònach aig Tobar Sròn na Glaodhaich, An Draoighnean, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, Ògmhios 2015.

A’ buain na mònach aig Tobar Sròn na Glaodhaich, An Draoighnean, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, Ògmhios 2015.

Tha beartas briathrachais ann am Facal bhon t-Sluagh mu dheidhinn a bhith ga togail bhon bhac-mòine. Thagh mi duilleag fiosrachaidh o Cheann a Deas Chinn Tìre, oir chan ann tric a chluinnear mu Ghàidhlig na sgìre sin. Ach thoiribh sùil air an fhiosrachadh o diofar sgìrean agus chì sibh an obair chruaidh, ach seasmhach, a rinn na daoine gus nach biodh iad gann den stòras prìseil seo. Bidh feum againn air bloga eile gus saothair an t-sluaigh a mhìneachadh dhuibh, gun luaidh air obair chùramach nan cruach mòna! Ach seo agaibh blasad den bhriathrachas agus mar a chuir daoine a’ mhòine gu feum, ge b’ e dè an stàid anns am faigheadh iad i.

Tha PeatlandACTION ag obair air feadh na h-Alba airson talamh mònach ath-stèidheachadh. ’S e a’ chomhairle bho mhanaidsear a’ phròiseict, Andrew McBride, ‘Cladhaichibh i le ur làimh ach cuiribh air ais na sgrathan agus caisgibh na dìgeachan gus am bi mòine ann do na ginealaichean a thig nur dèidh’.

We’re delighted to feature another guest blog from the team at the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic. This time, Kate Langhorne takes a look at some Gaelic vocabulary for various types of peat.

I thoroughly enjoyed a blog post from earlier in the year about the variety of animals and plants abundant in the peatlands and how each one of them contributes to the biodiversity of this environment: sundew and bog cotton, amongst others. This is where I learned about sphagnum moss and that this promotes the establishment of peat. Sphagnum moss allows the earth to maintain and disperse water. It is these acidic, nutrient poor environments, where sphagnum moss is abundant, that peat is formed. ‘Rewetting’ dry and and ‘re-vegetating’ bare peat is essential for peatland restoration.

Sundew and sphagnum moss, the bog builder. Image ©Lorne Gill, SNH library.

Sundew and sphagnum moss, the bog builder. Image ©Lorne Gill, SNH library.

Peat has been used as fuel for centuries and there is plenty of Gaelic vocabulary associated with its use.

If there is too much water in the peat from the moss, at the time it is lifted, it won’t be of much use. Mòine dhubh, or black peat, is the best. It can be dried effectively. It is thick, substantial and full of vegetation and will burn very hot for a long time. The place where peat is cut and lifted is called the blàr mòine.

A source from Lewis said that a craos teine (or literally “a gaping mouth of a fire”!) is what is known as a very hot fire, burning with black peat. Mòine chailceach burns with a speckling of glowing embers, but without a flame. Chalky peat or peat comprised of clay is lifted from the deepest part of the bog.

The caoran is the lowest level of the peat bog. A cìb or the mòine chinn is the upper part of the peat which is half wet and dry. Is this likened to mòine plòiceach? The Fieldwork Archive tells us that there is a kind of peat that can be banked in the fire to keep an ember burning through the night called mòine amh (raw peat), or mòine tasgaidh.  Mòine bhàn and mòine chòsach (porous peat) are likened to each other because they are easy to dry but they will burn far too fast, without much heat. In Kintyre, this kind of porous peat is called mòine phlòiteanach. This is too dry, and without substance!

Peat cutting at Tobar Sron na Glaodhaich, well of the hill of the crying, Drinan, Isle of Skye, June 2015.

Peat cutting at Tobar Sron na Glaodhaich, well of the hill of the crying, Drinan, Isle of Skye, June 2015.

There is a wealth of vocabulary in the Fieldwork Archive connected to lifting it from the peat bank. I chose the information page from the source in Kintyre, as it is less common to hear about the Gaelic from this area. But have a look at the peat-working pages from different areas and and you will see the hard but sustainable work which was involved in order to manage this precious resource. Another blog is needed to investigate the efforts of the people, not to mention the careful work that goes into constructing the peat-stack! But this is just a taste of the different kinds of peat that the folk make use of, whatever state they find it in.

PeatlandACTION is working across Scotland to restore eroded and degraded peatlands. The advice from the project manager, Andrew McBride  is to ‘Dig it up by hand but replace the turves and block the ditches so future generations can have peat to burn.’

 

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