[Ansteorra-textiles] A Mediaeval Sheep breed

Robert and Beth Ellis killian at viptx.net
Fri May 17 16:26:04 PDT 2002

Hi Kestral and Gwynneth!

Kestral - I'd like a copy of the article on British medieval sheep as
well!  Thank you for bringing it to the attention of the list.

Gwynneth - I recall the dye display you and Gwynno did several years ago -
it was just great.  Do you still have that stored away somewhere?  I'd sure
like to see it again, and I bet a lot of other folks would too.

> Does anyone have any information on how close any modern
> breeds are to medieval breeds?  I mean, they may be descended
> from medieval breeds and have the same name, but is there any
> way to tell if they have changed much, what with hundreds of years
> of breeding and environmental changes from being moved to a new
> continent?

That is such a good question.  I personally haven't seen hard core info on
how the breeds might REALLY have changed over time (no DNA studies or
similar work).  What I do see in print are comments like "it's thought the
breed has changed very little since.....".  We can all take that for what
it's worth, I guess.  Along that line, shetlands theoretically were left
mostly alone to fend for themselves for a long time, so the thinking is
that they are pretty close to the original.   I know that some breeds have
been dramatically affected by efforts to "improve" their fleece yields by
infusing them with other breeds (the Navajo churro was almost lost that
way, but they started back breeding them a few decades ago to return to the
original breed).  Your point is very good, and it has tweaked my interest.
I'll keep my eyes open for any info along that line and pass it on if
anything crops up.

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