Where are the pitsawyer's shoes?
Where do pitsawyers sleep at night?
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?
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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What happens to branches 29 cm thick that
remain after the main bole is removed for
commercial timber?
What does the pitsawyer use to mark
the path of the saw?
How much does a pitsawyer earn for a
day of sawing planks by hand?
Buffalo Pitsawyer Group in Eastern Province, Zambia
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? How about Liberia?
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
?In a bark slab house (see below)?
?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?
1 meter?
30 to 40 centimeters (12 to 16 inches)?
Zambia is 30 cm, Liberia 60cm?
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?