Keep a look out for Skeklers this Halloween

We had a great time at our recent Skeklers Hat workshop with local artist Eve Eunson in preparation for Halloween.

We started the session by sharing a short history of this eerie local tradition – in Shetland groups of guizers known as 'skeklers' would visit houses late in the year dressed in straw suits and wearing hats that covered their faces. It was thought to bring bad luck if guizers were turned away, so they would be welcomed in and would play music and dance with the householders who would give them food and drink in return.

Then we got in the zone and attempted to make our own headpieces using locally grown oats, Eve shared the techniques that would have been used to construct a traditional Skeklers hat which was then decorated with ribbons.

One of participant said: “It was a fun, warm and educational workshop – I felt really connected with the group and the craft. Lots of concentration was needed but we also had lots of chat and laughs as we worked.”

Catherine Munro attended the session and has written a lovely blog post about it - Hallowe'en skekling in Shetland and other guising traditions | Shetland.org

It was lovely to receive positive feedback and fantastic to see so many people interested in learning the skills of this traditional straw craft.

We are also running a 8 week Winter Straw Club – which has sold out – but if you would like to be kept informed of similar classes taking place in the future, email us and we will add you to our mailing list.

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