Hässja is ”hay-drying rack”, att hässja is “to pile hay on drying racks. The translation in the dictionary makes one think that this kind of hay-making is not practiced in any English-speaking territory.
The pictures are from the end of July when we dismantled them. There was a lot of rain this summer so they had been standing too long and we had to throw away some of the contents. Not many farmers practise this kind of haymaking nowadays.
In Northern Sweden hässjor are wooden constructions (I have only seen pictures), but ours are an intricate web of string zig-zagging between slanting poles. The weight of the hay keeps the poles in place. (If the weather is nicer we make såtor – just one pole – that’s less work. This year we made both.)
The origin of the word hässja is obscure. It is made from Old Swedish haes – ‘haystack’, but that’s as far as one can find.