Where are the pitsawyer's shoes?
What does the pitsawyer use to mark the path of the saw?
What happens to branches 29 cm thick that remain after the main bole is removed for commercial timber?
Where do pitsawyers sleep at night?
How much does a pitsawyer earn for a day of sawing planks by hand?
How much is a two-inch, 4-meter plank of African hardwood worth in the local market?
How much is a plank of African hardwood worth in the export (U.S.) market?
Do pitsawyers own the saws they use?
What was the minimum permitted diameter for saw trees to be cut in the 1950s in French West Africa?
What is the minimum diameter for saw trees in West African countries today?
What is the minimum diameter for saw trees in Zambia today?
Why is it called "pitsawing"?
Under the log
Black powder, extracted from a flashlight battery broken open, is sprinkled on a string and snapped onto the log
If close to the village, may be used for firewood; otherwise left to burn or rot
One or two dollars depending on seniority
One or two dollars at the sawing site; 10 to 25 dollars in the city
At least $5 a board foot or over $100 per plank, assuming 12-inch width
No; they are usually rented from a "patron" in exchange for blankets, food, or free planks
One meter
30 to 40 centimeters (12 to 16 inches)
30 cm (12 inches)
Supposedly a pit was dug under huge felled logs so that the long saw could pass through it without hitting the ground as planks were sawn; today it is usually the log which is rolled onto supports as in the photo
In a bark slab house (see right)
Buffalo Pitsawyer Group in Eastern Province, Zambia
Sawyers' camp in central Benin, West Africa
Old teeth in Zambia and Benin
Central Benin Pitsawyer 1996 (Photo by Cecilia Polansky)
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