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Tabacco reached its full maturation toward the end of September. Fields were completely covered with the broad, green leaves. So large that when it was time to harvest, 'vendemar', men and women were hidden between the rows, with barely space enough to move. Tabacco odor impregnated everything, and made your hands sticky with dark resin and arms sore, leaves were removed from the stalk and transported to large covers 'cuerte' ( burlap bags) that were folded over to make bundles wieghing up to 50 kilos. Bent with the weight of these bundles men and women trudged down steep narrow trails, stone steps chisled into stairways made the descent less dangerous. These 'trodeti' are pathways between fields and the terraces that can still be used today.

“We harvested the leaves until only a bare stalk remained. Sc-ic, Our hands moving in rhythm sc-ic, cut the leaf, sc-ic,up on one arm, sc-cut a leaf, -ic-up-on your arm, music breaking the silance as tabacco was cut, more leaves until a load became too heavy to carry, we'd take it to the 'cuerta', leaves piled on the cover until the bundle was loaded, the 'carghe' were hoisted up on your shoulders to carry down the trails. I didn't have anyone to lift the carga onto my back, so I'd get a chair and bring it to the fields, lifted the caga up and would go under, and up...." Giuseppina C. Sasso Stefani 2001

 

 

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