If you don’t own sheep of your own, you may never have witnessed a sheep shearing procedure, unless you have holidayed in Australia, that is.
Sheep shearing used to be a frequent activity in Mallorca at the beginning of Summer every year in early June, when it was quite a highlight in the rural community’s annual events. Many of the local pagesos visited their neighbour’s finca to help with the shearing of the sheeps’ wool. Often, at the end of the shearing task a fiesta was celebrated and perhaps a paella was served. Nowadays things have changed. Sheep shearing has now become a trade that is maintained mainly for the sake of tradition and demonstrations are held at local firas and festes.
In Mallorca, sheep shearing is still being done manually with long scissors, the way it used to be done in the days of yore. Speed is not the essence in Mallorca, quite unlike Australia.
But now, there is no market for the sheared wool any longer. The wool is sold wholesale in Spain at the low price of 0.10 € per kilo. This does not even cover the price of the labour which is being paid at around 1.50 € per sheared animal. It is a shame really.
Still, the activity is an admirable skill to watch.
The photo was taken in Manacor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 24th, 2009. The time was 11:55:34.