THE LAST SHEARERS

Hunched backs, sweat and dust. Hard millennial work to strip sheeps of their precious fleece. In June, shearing crews travel to the Andalusian sheepfolds. They work tirelessly, one day and the other until the season is complete. The day begins at dawn, when the castrated male (tame) makes a claim to lead the lots of sheep that are to be sheared. Everyone knows their job, they work skillfully and at frantic speed to fill wool sacks that long ago ceased to have value. The day ends with a hearty lunch, amid laughter and anecdotes, which alleviate the harshness of the trade.

In this way, an ancient practice that is extinguished at the same rate as indigenous land-linked livestock farms is renewed. A defeated culture and the disappearance of a trade and a way of life that made Spain prosperous. In many places only the embers remain, cortijos sealed by brambles and oblivion