This manioc press is from near Urucura, Brazil. It’s a woven basketry cylinder used to press bitter and toxic prussic acid from manioc (cassava) tuber pulp. After it has been grated and soaked in water, the manioc pulp is stuffed inside the woven tube and then the entire apparatus is hung from a tree. The manioc press is then pulled and twisted, squeezing the water and prussic acid from the pulp. Then the pulp is boiled, dried, and made into flour or cakes. It’s an ingenious way to get nutrition out of a dietary staple that is otherwise poisonous to humans.

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