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Medley of Waulking Songs (The Hebrides, Scotland)

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Waulking was a women’s communal work activity. Women would gather in the evening with their newly woven wool, soak it in urine to help make the dyes fast and to soften the cloth, and sew the ends together to make a large circle. Sitting around a large board, they would pound the cloth, rotating it “sunwise.” This process shrank and strengthened the cloth. As they pounded, they sang to keep their spirits high and to help make the work go faster.