Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ladakh photos V : Tsampa mill

An application of appropriate technology: a water-powered tsampa (barley flour) mill.

Each family in our village has one of these water powered grain mills made housed in a small stone building. They divert a channel of water from the river which flows down a hollowed-out log and turns a paddle wheel below the mill (second photo).

The paddle wheel turns the top stone, which grinds the grain into flour against the bottom stone. Note the wooden arm in the third photo - as the top stone turns it vibrates the wooden arm like a phonograph needle. This vibration causes the grains of barley to drop out of the basket at the proper rate.

No comments: