Film: 1963

Places + Locations | 1920 | Silent | B/W

Synopsis:

Tea Production in India in the 1920's. Tea plantation. Colonial India.
Ground is prepared by large number of Indians who use mattocks to ready the soil. Tea seeds are tested by being floated in water. Seeds are planted in holes made by a stick and pulverised earth placed on the seed in the hole. Large number of agricultural workers. The India Tea Nursery. Man ties up fencing to protect tea nursery from wild animals. Rushes are laid over the planted areas to protect the seeds or plants from the great heat.
One year on the saplings are transplanted from the nursery to their final place in the plantation. Bush is planted in hole and the earth tamped down. Man uses a stick to weed around base of tea bush. This also prevents the soil from caking. Light pruning. Heavy pruning with branches being hacked off. The plants are 'tipped' by having the tip of the plant removed. Many women workers. Women pose for camera. A family party with adults cradling babies and holding parasols.
Female tea pickers picking leaves from bushes that are at least five years old. Woman cradles baby as she plucks tea shoots. Two women pick tea leaves. Woman picks leaves of tea plant. Woman smiles at camera. Workers walk along track with large baskets on their heads. Workers walk to the weighing station where the tea is weighed. Once weighed the baskets of tea leaves are loaded onto bullock carts. Three laden bullock carts transport tea leaves. In a shed the withering process is undertaken. Man empties basket into rolling machine. The machine puts the 'twist' into the tea. Machine rotates. Roll breakers or rollers separate fine from coarse tea. For show, white man picks up tea and lets it pass through his hand back into basket. Operation of the drier. Slow conveyors dry the tea. Packing tea in teachests. Man sweeps up tea from floor. Teachests are carried away. The lids are nailed on. Tea chest appears to have 'Pekoe' written on it.
Pay day. White, European man wears a pith helmet and sits on a chair at a table on a verandah and issues pay to the workers. Woman carrying young child approaches and is paid. Indian village or housing on the plantation with people looking at the camera. Thatched homes with chickens scratching about in front. Indians stand and look at camera.


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