Wooden seeder

This is a wooden seeder, a sowing tool, used in Central India. It has one large hole at the top and multiple smaller holes at the bottom. In this example, there are four holes at the bottom. Individual guide pipes will be attached to the bottom holes.

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As the farmer plows the field, a helper walks with him adding seeds to the top portion. The pipes lead the seeds into the soil in four rows. A labour-saving device and saves one’s back as well. The photo, on our right, was taken in Madhya Pradesh in 1966 by Gene Graham.

These are generally made of solid teak wood as is the case with this seeder.

This wooden seeder is a classic example of everyday art in India and an example of the Indian practice of seeing divinity everywhere. The sides have low reliefs of Ganesha, a bull, a man and a woman and another bull. The design features include pillars in the corners, a lotus pattern at the top and decorations next to the pillars. The man and the woman are separated by the pattern to show they are in different areas tending to their chores.

This is carved out of a single piece of wood. Going by the number of examples available in the market, it is quite likely the use of this seeder was widespread. It is about 13 cm high and the top is about 15 cm across.

Note 17 July 2022: It looks like such wooden seeders are still used these days more as a ritual/ceremonial step. The first seeding is done using such sacred seeders.


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