If you live in a remote rural village. If you have a cash-strapped budget. If you plant and harvest your own rice for family consumption. If you don’t have a large family to help to the chores of the home; then you have no alternative but to use a “pilón” or rice pounder if you want to calm your hunger.
In some small villages in the countryside, farmers called “campesinos” still remove the chaff from clusters of rice using a wooded instrument called “pilón de arróz”—rice pounder. A rice pounder is a solid piece of wood hollowed in the middle where the clusters of rice are placed and a woman or child uses a pounder to manually pound, and pound and pound the rice until the chaff is totally removed. Some of these peasants are so skilled in the use of a pilón, that they can do it with only one hand. The rice pounder is used in several African countries and in Southeast Asia as well.
Below are a couple of pictures of a typical Panamanian pilón still used in some back road villages of the countryside. Here we go.