Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mynkaba Village

Carrying water from the well
The highlight of the day was our visit to the Mynkaba Village. We were met by a young lady, of about 10, who gave us a tour of her home. We walked through the streets, watching a woman carry in the water in buckets on a yoke. The well is out in front of the village so if you want water for cooking or anything else, you go haul it in. She dropped off one load of about 90 pounds and headed off for another.
Our guide checks the drying seeds

Drying on the racks were black sesame seeds. They were still in the husks, not yet released and cleaned. The community harvests sesame and peanuts to make oil to sell. The nuts are shelled and then cleaned by hand, using a winnowing basket to separate out shells, skins and anything else in the mix. They have a wooden machine, operated with a yoked ox, for grinding the seeds to make the oil.

Weaving on loom
They also raise cotton and use it to create yarn for weaving various fabrics. The young girl demonstrated the spinning and winding of the cotton. After trying with Nancy, I know how hard it is to make it even, and she just jumped up and worked it instantly! They then soak the yarn in water with starch and glue, making a fairly stiff thread that will not fall apart while weaving. The resulting fabric is very stiff until it is washed.

He loved playing with the wood!

We visited her father who made wheels for oxen and horse carts. He hand cuts the spokes using hand-made tools. He has a small bellows that he uses to shape the metal forms to finish off the wheels. We watched as he sharpened a tool, put it in a block of wood, to have a plane to finish off the wheel. As he worked, his infant grandson watched, playing in the curled wood bits that came off the wheel. Again, there was a cradle hanging in the shed area, just waiting for the baby when he needed a nap.

One of her sisters makes bamboo picture frames, using various widths of bamboo to build a pattern around the frame. She probably only can put together three or four in a's pretty slow going gluing on each strip one at a time.
Just seeing the domestic life; the small clinic that has a doctor once a week, the oxen and carts, moving water, kids playing, and work on the fields, was a great way to eavesdrop on how it used to be. I think that there are many changes going on, with people working away
Mom in the kitchen
 from home to meet the needs of the visiting tourists. Is opening the doors to tourists a curse or a blessing? Certainly influences the finances of the country but what changes does it bring to the families?

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