April and Kevin in Kuna Yala, the northeast coast of Panamá

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Working the Rice

We recently visited our first host family again, in the south of the island, to spend a night, chat and generally socialize. That evening, we taught them a popular card game we called ONE (or, as it is known to most of you, UNO). But in the afternoon, before dinner, the rice needed to be pilar-ed, or husked.

This is how Paula and Ancelmo work together to pilar arroz. You don't get to see Paula and Kevin trying it, because it just didn't work nearly as smoothly together. Kevin's claim is that the pilon (bowled-out wooden stand carved from a tree trunk in which the rice is placed to be struck to remove the husk) was too short for him. We will let you draw your own conclusions as to if it was likely equipment size issues or user issues.

The pounding of the mano de pilon or hand of the pilon (wooden pole part) into the rice breaks up the husk of the rice grains. They then scoop the rice grains and pour them from a hieght back into the pilon...and the breaze blows the husks out of the mix. There are machines that can do this...but many people do it by hand in our area due to cost and transport issues. This is the last step to process rice before cooking it.

(For more on the pilar-ing process, check back to our November 2007 post with pictures of the steps: http://ak-panama.blogspot.com/2007/11/work-of-pilaring.html)

1 comment:

Chris McCubbin said...

Hi guys,

I enjoy reading about all that you guys are doing! Maybe someday we'll be able to help people as much as youall are.

Things are pretty normal back at the Lab. It's crazy but Eris just turned 5 and is going to Kindergarten in just a month. Take a look at how big she is getting: pics.

Would it be possible to turn on full publishing for your RSS feed? I know its a small thing but being able to read your whole post in my reader would be awesome. It's in settings -> site feed -> allow blog feeds -> full.

Good luck with your work!