An eight-day agricultural fair at EEC Market in Muvattupuzha has on show an impressive array of implements and contraptions from the State’s agricultural past that have exited fields in even the remotest areas.
The collection of chakrams (wooden wheels used to manually drain paddy fields) is what catches one’s eye as one enters the main exhibition hall. A large group of visitors are huddled around the first wheel in the hall, taking in the perfection of carpentry. The attention to detail in the use of wooden nails and the curves that increase the efficiency of the radials stand out.
The ploughshares and hoes, the rice measures and the husking equipment are lined up for those who would enjoy a peek into Kerala’s agricultural history, steeped in lores of an era of abundance.
An official at the venue of the exhibition says the equipment and tools as well as the measures and instruments used to store food were collected from different parts of the State from individual households and private collections. The old measures such as ‘naazhi’ and the wooden storage vessels such as ‘thonis’ add colour to the exhibition.
Brass utensils and lighting equipment, including a metal version of the old kerosene lamp, make the experience memorable.
The exhibition also provides a holistic experience of old agricultural cycles from the seasonal sowings to harvest.
Fishing equipment such as bamboo baskets are also on display and recall an era of integrated food production and optimum use of resources such as water.