Yesterday we presented some of the work collected during ‘Tallys an Tir’ as part of the ‘Studying Memory & Place‘ event at the Cornwall Centre in Redruth. We had a good turn-out with some great storytelling.
Our relationships with animals featured in most of these stories, including horses which would wait outside the pub for their owner and then take them home passed out in the cart (surely better than a taxi but without the awareness of traffic lights!). In the past it seems that people they knew their farm animals like we know each other- each cow knew it’s name and would respond to being called and horses would often know what do do without being told.
One question that Ivan had, was regarding the significance of the chant that would be used to call in the cows… Ivan and his family who live near Helman Tor would always shout “Oak, oak, aok, come’on.” Other people recalled “Coak, caok, caok, come’on” for calling the cows and “Kip, kip, kip, come’on” for calling horses and slight variations of this. Calls always seem to involve saying the same word 3 times, followed by “come’on“. We want to know if anyone had different ways of calling in the cows and if anyone knows the significance or origin of the words that were used?
On a different note we were also joined by Clive Boutle of Francis Boutle Publishers who talked a bit about the newly released Memory, Place and Identity book, edited by Garry Tregidga and exploring the Cultural Landscape of Cornwall. He also brought along some other great books exploring Cornwall.
Thanks for everyone who came and contributed, a special thanks to Margaret for reading our her lovely dialect story and Bob for his interesting presentation on interpreting old photographs.