Harvesting rice was very labor intensive - it was all done by hand. For the most part, Sierra Leone rice was grown on the upland. It was said that folks didn't like working in the swamps - it was just too damp and cold. There may have been other factors here as well. That being said - from time to time I did come across farmers working in swamps in rice paddies. In this picture - a Mende woman is seen cutting matured rice in what was a very extensive area of swamp just below where we lived, and on the road from our house to downtown Kenema. On the north side of Dama Road in this area - the Fula section chief, Pa Maju Bah, pastured his cows from time to time. And on the other side of the road rice was grown in this swamp. During the rain season (April to October) rice was first planted, then cared for, and then at the end of the year it matured and during the dry season (December to March) it was harvested when ready.
|photo © by Chad Finer|
|boy winnowing rice - photo taken in the Mende village of Mekonde - Kori Chiefdom of Moyamba District (near Njala)|
photo © by Chad Finer