Woman Sorting Castor Beans, Cuba, 1871

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This record was last updated on 04 May 2012

Image Reference

Samuel Hazard, Cuba with pen and pencil (Hartford, Conn., 1871), p. 469

While traveling through Cuba, the author, who visited Cuba in 1866, observed how the castor bean "grows in great quantities all over these mountains, and is prepared by the superannuated negro women, who select the beans and clean them ready for extracting the oil . . .[he comments on] an old woman, perfectly blind, who seemed to pick out the perfect and imperfect seeds with the greatest facility, while she sat croning over her task on the stone floor" (p. 469).