Cultural Analysis

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Over the ancientyears, women have contributed positively to the development ofdifferent cultures. Women have been the pillars of the creation ofmaterial culture some of which provided ideas for the innovation ofbetter tools that improved the technology we have today. Women havecontributed substantially in the invention of modern agriculturaltools that are used in the processing of foods (Carmack R, 2016).Ancient history reports that women initiated the idea of foodprocessing through stone grinding. Slavery also had a contribution tofood processing. Women slaves that were brought from Africa used thesame methods of food production and processing in their dailyactivities.

Imagesof Women and Material Culture in Food Processing

TheUse of Metate

In ancientAmerican cultures, grinding stones were one of the most valuablestone tools that revolved within the livelihood of people. Thesegrinding stones were the primary form of food processing in variousforms of culture. The Metate was a curved stone that was used in thecorn-hulling process. Native American women used this tool togetherwith pounding instruments to break open the hull of the seeds to getthe canter grain to be cooked. In ancient history, women wereresponsible for the processing of foods. This was mainly corn thatwas the staple food in the ancient times. To reduce the amount spenton processing the foods, the use of a grinding stone was born.Another reason for the invention of the grinding stone was because,in the south-western United States, there were many varieties ofsoft-shelled flour corn that were suitable for the grinding done by aMetate (Carmack R, 2016).

The recordedhistory and culture reports indicate that it is only women who didthis type of food processing which was labour intensive. Consideringthat young girls were taught from an early age on how to use thegrinding stones shows that women were left to undergo hard labor toprovide food for the family. Active, healthy men, are not recorded tohave participated in this kind of hard labor. The intent of the imageis to portray women as very hardworking members of the family unitsince the ancient times. The average time that was spent on corngrinding by the women ranged from three hours to eight hours (CarmackR, 2016).

ImagesDepicting the Use of Mortar and Pestle

The contributionof technology in farming activity by women over the ages has beengreatly underrated. Among the notable contributions in agriculturewas corn processing through mortar and pestle. This can also beinterpolated back to the initiation slavery where African women werecaptured from Africa and sold to the New Americas. The women couldremember how they used to process food back in Africa and thereforeused the same mechanisms and tools to process their food in theircountries of slavery (Carmack R, 2016).

The imagesshowing women processing food using Metate and the Mortar and Pestlewere intended to signify the role of women in the society. Thewomen’s work was to ensure food was available in the family as menwent about in their other activities.

Roleof Women in Revolution

Portraitsof Women in the Revolution History

Some of the lateeighteenth century portraits represent some of the American women asicons of liberty connected to the American Revolution. In the Societyof Patriotic Ladies, a British cartoon, women are depicted as weak inmind with the intention of devaluing their efforts towards revolution(Beatrice, 2013). The women are even depicted to be objects that mencan use to play with at their pleasure. This is portrayed by thewoman in the center of the image which is being fondled by a man. Thecartoonist has also tried to depict women of that era of revolutionas irresponsible beings. The Women have neglected their duties ofchild care as illustrated in the image of the child left alone underthe table as the dog tries to lick it. The historically-informedbelief on this issue of revolution is that women were to sit back andwait for the men to handle the entire political and social problem(C, 2014).


Women have had amajor contribution to the history and culture. This can be depictedfrom the various artefacts that have shown their originalcontribution to grain processing through mortar and pestle and theuse of Metate Stones for corn grinding. However, some images andportraits have tried to undermine the role of women in the country’srevolution through depicting them as objects of pleasure for the joyof the man. This is also depicted in the stories written about thesexual relationships between slave-holding men and their femaleslaves. Some images have even shown women as weak-minded in things todo with fighting for their rights (Beatrice, 2013). This has had abiased approach over the years towards women concerns as women areregarded as weak members of the society whose role is limited mainlyto household chores and bringing up children.


Beatrice, R. (2013). The Roles of Women in the Revolutionary War. History of Massachusetts.

C, K. (2014). The Edenton Ladies: Women, Tea, and Politics in Revolutionary North Carolina. North Carolina Women, their Lives and Times, 12- 33.

Carmack R, G. J. (2016). The legacy of Mesoamerica: History and Culture of a Native American Civilization. Routledge.

T, C. (2016). A Society of Patriotic Ladies: the EDenton Tea Party. Cusack.

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