Monday, May 9, 2022

"Picture Of My Mother In Law Walking The Cows"

I saw this photo today with the caption "Picture Of My Mother In Law Walking The Cows."

Why do I find this photo powerfully evocative?

No idea who took the pic or who the mother-in-law is, but it's a way cool photo.


  1. That is a striking photo with the contrast of her blue against the nautrals in the background. Pretty neat!

  2. We usually see cattle being herded from behind. She is leading the way - that's what strikes me anyways. And they follow.

  3. Yes the blue looks incredible. I was wheeling straw into the cattle lean-to this weekend trying to beat the rain. Was focused on getting job done. Spouse said every time I went through the corral the steers and heifers were kicking up their heels, shaking their heads in happiness for fresh straw. I didn't even notice.

  4. I had to Google this. Probably the best article I found was from The Smithsonian Magazine by Jennie Tiderman-Osterberg dated September 28, 2020, entitled
    "Why Sweden's Ancient Tradition of Calling Home the Herds is Women's Work ".
    This article is fascinating reading about an ancient Swedish custom still practiced today of women in the family herding and caring for the herds during summer as part of their job making milk products their families consume during winter.
    They work on a family "fabod" which seems like a farming system which includes sheds and outbuildings, and there are no men.
    Their work is grueling, but they find an independence there away from the patriarchal system they are otherwise subject to .
    They developed over the centuries their own musical language called kulning, or
    "kolning". This language is used to communicate with each other and the animals they're herding.

    There's so much more to this than I can possibly convey and I would encourage everyone to look this all up and read . I think the picture summed much of it up, but it's a fascinating study.