MANUAL LABORS

 

 

Kate Greenstreet

one mano

What else was happening that day, or
how did it get buried?
Dug up or uncovered, cleaned, ground flat.
It was probably carried
by someone. Perhaps as recently as
500 years ago.
Hello
everyone, I have a question.
What is the name of a tool that is used to grind corn?
Means “son of metate.”
In Spanish, means “hand,” grinds downwards.
The exact reasons
she kneels

unbrittle
unsharp
can be pounded upon.
There is a corn grinding song.
Most of the ears are dried and pulverized
a daily task for the women
and girls
stone tools
have survived very well
you will see
how the women
and older children make flour and meal
the men carry bags of the powder
on their long trips

1 axe
1 antler artifact

2 awls
7 projectile points
1 mano
25 crystals

16 unworked stones
1 tinkler
1 stone disk
6 pipes

2 pieces of worked shell
1 piece of unworked shell

58 bags corn kernels, 1 corn plant
1 drill, 1 pitcher
8 corn cobs

and/or used or simply
present
indirectly

from the presence of people in the past

When they’d collected all they needed, they returned
and began the long and difficult
process. Using a mano and metate, they ground pot sherds for temper.

That’s a picture of someone’s life.
You don’t need to know anything to talk about something you see.

could require a great deal of work
What did the person who used it call it?
held in the hands, moved back and forth
to grind seeds, clay
for pottery, pigments
What do the numbers mean? These are
accession numbers.
The first tells the year,
the second
tells about the donor.
Some are far away.

red corn, yellow, blue corn
turns
into blue
Uncle Mano, to you

needs care, periodic
protection
What happened to these people?
It would be valuable to know

the women and girls get together in groups
spend hours mashing kernels with an oblong stone

Agriculture requires
us to settle down, keep an eye on the sun and moon
Work together
corn meal batter on a hot greased rock

Archeologists identify a culture through its artifacts. Someday, will this museum be buried?—unearthed, with tools we can’t imagine tonight. Will someone pick up “my” rock, touch its number, and wonder—what it meant to me, what I used it for.