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Documentary: Hidden Treasures

As part of our St Brigid’s Celebrations the ICC is delighted to launch ‘Hidden Treasures’ the highly acclaimed four-part documentary series examining the history of Irish folklife. It explores a range of trades, crafts and traditions widely practised in rural Ireland from the 1850s to the 1950s

Each episode reveals the self-sufficiency of rural Irish householders and crafts people and shows how they used everyday natural materials to make objects for practical use in their daily lives. Throughout the series a wide variety of pre-industrial practices are explored, such as rope-making, tin-smithing, various forms of fishing, grain-threshing, turf-cutting, tillage, and straw and seaweed gathering. The films powerfully evoke memories and are a beautifully shot record of a fading Ireland. 

The series combines restored old 16mm archive, (produced by the National Museum of Ireland from the 1950s to the 1970s), with contemporary recordings of traditional rural crafts and rituals.  

This episode, ‘Living In The Landscape’ delves into the history and creation of traditional tools used in everyday rural life; tools used for weaving bird cribs; thatching roofs, woodturning cart-wheels, and crafting spades, shovels and horse-drawn ploughs. This episode also features a fascinating sequence on St Brigid’s Day traditions.

Made in 1998 Hidden Treasures was Directed by Anne O’Leary. Executive Director Sé Merry Doyle. Music composed by KILA. 

The Series was produced by Loopline Films and is part of the Loopline Collection, housed at Irish Film Institute, Dublin.

The film is available to view here.