Tag Archives: ovis aries

Icelandic Sheep

Kind – Ovis aries – Icelandic Sheep

The first sheep were brought to Iceland by the settlers way back around the year 800 and as a breed it is unique. Its purity has been protected for centuries in the isolation of the island way out in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The Icelandic sheep are short-tailed and quite different from sheep in other countries, at least the ones we have visited. The Icelandic word for the tail is “dindill”, – such a funny word.

The Icelandic sheep are used to a harsh climate. They graze in the mountains in the summer time and are very efficient herbivores.

Anna Rut in an Icelandic wool sweater “lopapeysa” – knitted by her grandmother.

The wool that the sheep produce has no counterpart anywhere in the world. The fleece is dual-coated. The long outer coat is called “tog” and the fine inner coat “þel”. The outer and inner coats are separated and used for different woolen garments. The Icelandic lopapeysa is essential for camping in the summer time when nights are bright and no one wants to go to sleep.