Burning bamboo and other productive tasks

The Auroville Bamboo Research Centre

Today the centre’s employees got to work burning and smoking bamboo. This might seem bizarre, since bamboo is the centre’s prime area of research and product development. Actually, the bamboo is set on a low-burn and smoked which gives it a rich golden color and protects it from insects. The men placed the bamboo sticks on bricks about a foot off the ground and lit a fire underneath. Women raked leaves into large baskets and carried them over to be used as fire starters. This continued in rhythm; 30 minutes later the bamboo pile was deserted, while smoke wafted up between air pockets. The smoking will  take place over a duration of two days.

In the meantime, everyone quickly got back to other tasks, while the smoke  remained in the backdrop. Many of the young girls began sanding and shaping bamboo jewelry. The older women talked and laughed together while polishing bamboo frames. The men found a pile of bamboo stalks and used quick strokes with machetes to peel the outer layer of the bamboo.

And so the work continues.

This slideshow is meant to offer an inside peak at the Bamboo Research Centre’s buildings and grounds and the people,  products and “pets” found within.

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