Monday, May 12, 2008

Pounding millet

NYT photo

In the morning, women are really busy pounding millet or other grains to cook for the day. "Pounding millet" is a really literal term that could also be described as "using every muscle in one's body to lift a really heavy pounding stick straight up and beat the heck out of grains in a wooden bowl-thing, the end result being women with callouses the size of mushrooms, and men with full bellies."
People ask me all the time if I am able to pound millet, and the answer is "kind of."
I try to help my neighbors and take a turn at it, but the reality is that I suck at it and I always end up getting blisters and really sore shoulders. So, by the end of two years I should be wickedly strong. You can pretty much hear the sound of millet being pounded (thump! thump!) all day long, and into the evening.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jessica, When we were in Africa we wwere just blown away by the strength of the women. Pounding grain is not an easy task! Peggy S