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Workers Scraping Manioc Roots, 1933

Brazil - Natives Scraping Manioc Roots

New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_B15653
Document Description
Workers scraping manioc (cassava) roots in the State of Bahia, 1933.
What other food/s does the manioc in the photograph resemble?
What stage of preparing manioc is shown in the photograph?
Most Bahians are of Indian, African, or European descent, or a combination.  From which culture/s do you think the people in this photograph come?
Do you think the people in this photograph are rich or poor?  Why do you think so?
Historical Challenges
On what other continent is manioc grown? How did it get there?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: How is the poison taken out of manioc? Are there any other foods you know of that can be poisonous?
English Language Arts: Write instructions in your own words for making flour from manioc.
Family & Consumer Sciences: What other foods are eaten in Brazil? Cook a meal from Brazilian recipes.
Bauer, Brandy. Brazil: Questions and Answers about Countries. Capstone Press, 2004. ISBN: 0736824812
Black, Carolyn. Brazil: The Land. Crabtree Publishing Company, 2003. ISBN: 0778793389
Heinrichs, Ann. Brazil. New York: Children’s Press, 1997. ISBN: 0516203282
Holiday, Jane. Exploring Brazil with the 5 Themes of Geography. Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2005. ISBN: 0823946398
Jermyn, Leslie. Brazil. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens Pub., 1999. ISBN: 0836822587


Historical Context
Manioc, or cassava, was a staple food for the natives of Brazil.  Raw manioc is poisonous, but the Indians developed a way to extract the poisonous juices and make it into flour.  This flour is known today as farinha de mandioca (manioc meal) and is still an important part of the Brazilian diet.  Manioc is a versatile food.  From manioc, we also get tapioca.  Sweet manioc, which is not poisonous, can also be boiled and eaten like potatoes or fried like French fries.
Essential Question
How does geography impact human settlement and economy?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and discuss the impact of geography on the local economy.