The hoe at work

These images have all been scraped off the Web, over the last few months. There’s often precious little info given, and thus very little credit possible – either to those working or to the photographer.

There’s no story, or editorial line: there are many more images of people working with hoes out there – these are simply the ones that struck me most forcibly. They return fleetingly, in all their power and their poignancy, as I work with mine.

c2b7-the-daba-hoe-made-by-local-blacksmiths-from-scrap-metal

The daba, an African hoe made by village blacksmiths.

broken-hoe

A broken hoe.

blacksmith-lasajang-community-project-ghana

Blacksmith making and repairing hoes at the Lasajang community project in Ghana.

In Burkina Faso the hand-tools are generally renewed annually in the case of the mild-steel daba, and in some cases even twice a year. The pioche [pick], made from leaf springs, lasts 2-3 years. However, they are sharpened annually.

Locally-made plough shares are normally replaced every other year. Sickles last up to 10 years, but with several changes of the wooden handle. Knives often “get lost by the children”, but if not, they will be replaced every 2-3 years.
Tools are almost invariably bought from local blacksmiths. The figures in the table below provide an overview of the prices being paid by farmers for their tools.
Hand-tools in Francs CFA  [100 CFA francs = 1 French (nouveau) franc = 0.152449 euro; or 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs:

Pioche – 250-500 [in 1999]

Daba (hoe) – 500-1,000

Machete – 500-750
Knife  – 100-150

richard-bridgens-west-india-sceneryfrom-sketches-taken-during-a-voyage-to-and-residence-of-seven-years-in-trinidad-london-1836

Richard Bridgens, West India Scenery. From sketches taken during a voyage to, and residence of seven years in Trinidad, 1836.

planting-rice-us-south-1859

Planting rice – 1859

rice-hoeing1

Hoeing rice.

cotton-cultivation-us-south-1875

Cotton cultivation, southern US 1875

cotton_hoeing

cotton hoeing

hoeingrice01

Hoeing rice in South Carolina – in b&w.

hoeing-rice-sc

Hoeing rice coloured.

log-cabin-virginia-1870

Log cabin Virginia – 1870.

sharecroppers-hoeing-cotton

Sharecroppers hoeing cotton 20th.c.

binage-betterave-1931-ile-de-france

Hoeing beetroots – Ile-de-France 1931.

hoeing-on-foula

Hoeing on Foula Island. Shetland Isles. 1937

digging-for-victory-pannal-village-school-yorkshire-uk

digging for victory at Pannal village school Yorkshire, UK. 1940

1940s-land-army-girls-hoeing-at-atherstone-warwickshire

1940s Land Army girls hoeing, Atherstone Warwickshire.

HU030301

ca. 1941, UK  Land girls pause to watch a squadron of fighters returning from France.

womens-land-army-hoes

Women’s Land Army.

womens-land-army-members-working-on-fowlers-farm

W.L.A – working on Fowler’s farm.

college-students-hoeing-university-of-hawaii-agriculture-and-home-gardening-school-eliot-elisofon

college students hoeing – University of Hawaii agriculture and home gardening school. Eliot Elisofon. 1945

macedonia-joel-halpern-62

Husband and wife hoeing. Macedonia.  Joel Halpern 1962.

peasants-of-north-vietnam

Peasants of North Vietnam. 1969

n-vietnam-detail

detail

womenho1

Maramures village, Romania. 2000. Kathleen Woods. Fine Art and travel photography. Kathleen & Henry Woods have lived for several years in Romania and Hungary, studying and photographing village life and culture. Their travel log is at Leafpile .

As Kathleen writes: Land is owned by individual families, but as one old lady said “what can one person do against a field this big?”
They band together by family or friendship groups and gang-hoe each other’s land.

african-girls-hoeing

African girls hoeing.

hmong-woman-hoeing_jpg

Hmong woman hoeing.

hoeing

African man, with a very short, flat-angled hoe.

cote-d-armor-hoeing

Hoeing his plot, on the Côte d’ Armor, Brittany.

naia-hoedown

Naia lending a hand.

7-year-old-constance-mabo-zambia

7-year-old Constance Mabo, in Zambia.

kua-fight

The Kua art of fighting with hoes. [Ecole d’Arts Martiaux Frédéric Méjias]

kue-kua

Kua, or Kue [meaning hoe] is an ancient Chinese fighting technique.

Advertisements

One Response to The hoe at work

  1. Hi,

    Nice review of the Kue and thank you for referring to our martial arts school were we teach the use of Kue in the Matayoshi Okinawaian Kobudo. The first photo shows Arnaud Terraillon (in Black & White kimono) practicing free fight with Frédéric Méjias using a Santsesukon (in White kimono). The second photo shows Sylvie Antoine practicing the Kue kata.

    Best regards.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s