Old Ireland Aran Islands in Color in 1920s

The Old Ireland Aran Islands in Color, filmed in 1929 by Movietone and AI colorized and upscaled with sound by Glamourdaze.

Aran islanders unloading a currach in 1929.
Aran Islanders unload a currach on the beach in 1929 – Source MIRC

A lovely short time capsule of the ancient Aran Islands, Ireland in the early 20th century.
AI enhanced, colorized and upscaled to 4K 60 fps with sound.
There are few image references or color photographs of Aran islanders in the early 20th century. I used the Aran Islands paintings by Sean Keating as a reference. He first travelled to the Aran Islands in 1914 and continued to visit in the late summers for many years.

Using deep learning neural networks, I was able to create an upscaled colorized film of the early Aran islanders.

Old Ireland Aran Islands in Color

AI enhanced by Glamourdaze. Source footage © MIRC

The Movietone footage, was supplied with the kind permission of the Moving Image Research Collection at University of South Carolina. You can check the sources material in the following links.

Irish Outtakes – Moving Image Research Collection.
Fox Movietone News Story 2-922
AI Restoration by Glamourdaze.com
Using deep learning machines, including Deep exemplar- based video colorization.

on the beach - Aran islands 1929
on the beach – Aran islands 1929. AI colorized ©Glamourdaze. Footage ©MIRC

The Clothing Style and Culture of the Old Aran Islands

Much of the information on fashion and colors of Aran island traditional clothing of the late 19th and early 20th century , comes from artist Sean Keating. He first visited the island sin 1914. The playwright John Millington Synge, author of The Playboy of the Western World., also talked about their clothing in his writings.

Three Aran Island women on board a steamer to Galway

Aran Women wore pinafore dresses, with red calf length woven skirts or petticoats along with knitted shawls and wool sweaters. The Aran belt or ‘crios’ was a colorful affair. The fabric was dyed using ‘secret’ recipes’ from local flowers and plants in yellows, blues, greens and reds. In particular women favored red petticoats, paired with green, blue or yellow knitted shawls or jackets.

Men of Aran
Men of Aran – filmed in 1929. Source footage © MIRC

The men wore homespun trousers and waistcoats made of tweed. Their shirts, when dyed were noted in yellow ochre and indigo blues. Children of any gender usually wore dresses until they were a little older. Footwear worn by Aran islanders were a type of calf skin moccasins, called ‘pampooties.’

Note: An excellent resource for color photographs of old Ireland is the book Old Ireland in Colour 1 & 2. A long running project created by John Breslin. The second edition is now in print. Highly recommended.

Short History of the Aran islands

Launching the Currach - Sean Keating - Aran Islands
Launching the Currach – Sean Keating – Aran Islands

There are three islands which make up the Aran islands. From west to east, the islands are : Inishmore ( the largest), Inishmaan ( Inis Meáin) and Inisheer ( the smallest.)

It is thought that the early settlers were monastic. Enda of Aran built the Killeany monastery in AD 490, and for some time, Inishmore was a center of learning and asceticism. You can still find round dwelling places known as ‘clocháns.’ Similar to the round beehive houses seen in Star Wars on the Skellig islands. In all, there are about a dozen monasteries on Inis mor alone.

Children of the old Aran Islands in 1929 colorized film. Source film © MIRC
Irish dancing on the Aran Islands 1929
Two men and two women dancing to an Irish jig. Aran Islands 1929. © MIRC

During the Cromwellian purges, it is thought that some fled to the relative safety of the Aran islands. By the early 1800s, the population of the islands reached nearly 4000.

That’s all ! © Glamourdaze

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