Reading now; Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg;
July,1830, on the ten-hour sailing west from the Hebrides to the Island of St.Kilda...
Neil is to become the minister to the small community of Islanders...
Page 60; They often make shoes out of the necks of gannets, they cut the head off at the eyes and the part where the skull was serves as the heel of the shoe and the feathers on the throat offer warmth and water proofing. They generally only last a couple of days, but at times there are so many birds that they can wear these disposable socks almost daily.
Page 61; Yes it is true, that they are largely used to governing their own affairs, agreed the minister.
Forgive me sir, but do you not think that we have something to learn from them? George insisted.
Neil MacKenzie, the minister and his zealous Christianity, concentrating on his god, is way out of touch with life and how to live. Titania
Hirta (Scottish Gaelic: Hiort) is the largest island in the St Kilda archipelago, on the western edge of Scotland. The names "Hiort" (in Scottish Gaelic) and "Hirta" (historically in English) have also been applied to the entire archipelago.
The islands were continuously populated from prehistoric times until the 1930s, when the remaining inhabitants were evacuated
Viking burials have been found there. St. Kilda was part of the Lordship of the Isles, then a property of the MacLeods of Dunvegan from 1498 until 1930. There were three chapels on St. Kilda, dedicated to St Brendan, St Columba, and Christ Church, but little remains. There are also the remains of a beehive house, known as the Amazon's House.
The islanders had a tough life, and survived by exploiting the thousands of sea birds living on the islands. There are a large number of cleits, huts used for storing dried sea birds, fish, hay and turf. The islanders had a very democratic system, and decisions were taken by an island council, made up of all the menfolk. The present village was set out in the 1830s above Village Bay, but in the 1880s some of the population left for Australia, and the remaining inhabitants were finally evacuated in the 1930s because of hardship and storms that had cut off the islands for weeks.