working the land...

Tenant farmers prepare the soil for a maize planting.

It is a heavy manual labor performed under searing sun and vicious viscous humidity. The crude implements require bending double and hack hack hacking at the hard ground. It is all arms and shoulders and I wonder, How about a shovel for gods' sake?

The farmers put in about four hours of work each day at such labors then break for a beverage of fermented sorghum.

And so, in the fullness of African time, the land is transformed. These hectares of dirt will eventually yield green and the sustenance of African life.

April 2007, Wonougba, Togo.

Rolleiflex T, Fomapan 200, PMK.