May 23, 2022


A Woman at Work


A Woman at Work

Her brain is on the grain that is being prepared
and processed. There is no maze in a common
sight and sound as the maize grain is threshed
and pounded by crude mortar and pestle.

She is grinding corn in a mortar. A mother of five,
in a village where the mill is far, she has no
choice but to manually process all her grain.
It is a backbreaking, laborious chore.

She learnt the traditional principles of hulling
and milling when she was a little girl since
her parents couldn't afford paying for
commercial grain-milling services.

She knows the importance of food production,
the goal of milling: enhancing the digestibility
of the grain for human consumption,
to produce a grainy, palatable meal.

Her pestle weighs 4 kg and the pounding task
is sweat, toil, time, and energy. It is an effort.
Mortar and pestle are a pair moulded
from a tree stump and branch.

Article © Ndaba Sibanda. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-09-27
Image(s) are public domain.

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