tally (calculation & recording)

Tally stick (milk). Long, parallelepiped shape, without any ornamentation, brown in colour, slightly smoked at the lower end, made out of a single piece of wood. The tally stick has as many facets as there are pens in the sheep fold. (Birch wood). Length 690mm, width at tip 30mm.

Used in spring during the cheese-making season. The tally stick is made by the shepherd. When the sheep-owner has milked the sheep, the shepherd begins to measure (“carimbit�) the milk. The milk of each sheep-owner is placed in a separate wooden tub. The shepherd introduces the tally stick into the wooden tub and marks off the level of milk by making a horizontal notch in the stick. So that no mistake should be made, the tub is placed on a levelled bit of ground. If several men happen to have the same amount of milk the shepherd makes a notch in the length of the stick for his own milk and in the breadth of the stick for the milk of the others. The shepherd makes himself a new tally stick every year.

Collection Information

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