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Umb Estelwain


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County of Umb Estelwain (dunael/sindarin: ”The Vale of New Hope”) is a historical administrative region in Anfalas. It was originally the feudal domain of the Counts of Agarinna, an ancient Númenorean family.

The mountainous vale of Umb Estelwain is situated immediately north of the ridge of Pinnath Gelin. The vale is one of the regions set aside by royal decree for the wintering of the sheep of the Mesta. Here the shepherds of Anfalas tend their flocks during the winter months, sheltered by the surrounding hills and watered by one of the principal sources of the river Lyghiril.

History


The area was once occupied by Danan Lin, an indigenous Dunlending tribe well known for its fierce resistance to conquest by the Númenoreans. After a short time under tribal kings of Erech, it was conquered by the Gondorians in 807 and further pacified and made into a March by King Tarannon Falastur in 830.

During the Ship-Kings, Umb Estelwain was a sheep rearing county within the district of Pinnath Gelin and as such part of the League of Lond Galen. In 1225, King Atanatar II Alcarin granted Umb Estelwain in perpetuum to the ancient and mysterious númenorean family of Agarinna from Anórien.

From the 10th to the 13th centuries there was a period of great development for Umb Estelwain, with the building of famous castle Agarinna and several picturesque abbeys in the vale. Hardly impacted by the Kin-Strife and the Black Plague, in turned itself more and more into an agricultural province, reputed for its distinctive brandy. Still underdeveloped and sparsely populated, the County of Umb Estelwain has nonetheless seen steady growth in the 17th century.

Culture


The region is famed for its sheep products (wool, mutton) and ”Serkere” festivals in many Estelwain villages, for its cheeses (Wheymarsh, Estelwain Blue, Balar Nessa) and its healthy mineral water springs.

Estelwainish, a variety of the Donael language, was historically spoken in the vale. It is still spoken in the rural areas.

Daningweth oxen, a rare breed, are raised in the Daningweth hills.



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