Gwembe Tonga 5 - The Agricultural Cycle

It takes about 90 days for millet and sorghum to mature, and 30-60 days for the various vegetables produced. After the grain is mature it is harvested by hand using a long knife to cut the stalks. The grain is then stored. When the grain is to be used it must be threshed, winnowed, and then ground or pounded into flour. The threshing is done with a light stick, and serves to crack the husks of the grain. The winnowing is done with a large flat basket and separates the grain from the chaff. Final preparation into flour can either be done by grinding, as this woman is doing, or pounding in a wooden mortar and pestle. All of this work is done by women.

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