Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mortar and Pestle

One of the perks of children traveling to many parts of the world are all the interesting things they send back home. It's even more fun when these items can be incorporated into use, and not just set on a shelf to look at. One of my daughters was in Mali, West Africa this past fall. She loved going to the local market.
One stall had mortar and pestles. This is a small one. Every household has several. The local women selling these couldn't figure out why she would want one. In Mali, one thing they use mortar and pestle for is to smash yams and make a paste that is used in many dishes they prepare.
Here I am smashing avocados to make guacamole.
The mortar and pestle are hand carved by local craftsmen from a local tree. The mortar (the bowl part) is one piece, about 19 inches high and the pestle is 25 inches tall. Each knife cut is seen, making a beautiful textured, yet smooth pattern. The wood is oiled for lasting use. As it ages small cracks appear in the wood, but do not jeopardize it's use. It's a beautiful primitive piece that I'm loving having around.










3 comments:

UPON A HILL said...

Very nice piece!

Krista said...

I love it!!!! I'm so glad you are finding ways to use it in your kitchen. I knew you would! Next time you must come to Africa with me to find your own treasures...

Debbie said...

Would love to go traveling with you. We have so much fun when we do!:)