Moler: a way of doing or a way of being?







Creative Commons Licence

Created date

June 26, 2019

Critical Commentary

Making tortillas (moler, in Spanish) with firewood is fundamental for women’s lives. It is not just something they do; it constitutes who they are. Knowing how to make a tortilla with firewood is what makes you a woman. Normally, women learn how to do it at ages between 10 or 15. When I asked what happens if you don’t know how to make tortillas, the women replied: “You have to learn”; “Making tortillas is the law”; “You learn; there is no other way”; “You need to know how to make tortillas. If a woman wants to get married and she doesn’t know how to do it, then her punishment comes: they [her husband and in-laws] are not going to treat her like a queen.” Martina, a 58-year-old woman, told me that when she got married by arrangement at the age of 14, her father-in-law used to hit her in the hands with a stick whenever she messed up the tortillas. He told her: “You have to learn because you are a woman, not a man.” 


This audio was recorded on March 11, 2018 during an  ethnographic experience.