Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Angaur Bread

In Angaur, there is a very special bread made for the funerals. I have gotten to help twice now in making it. The first time, one woman was kind enough to try to teach me how to roll it out just right ... I thought I was doing a pretty good job until I noticed the woman on the other side of me re-rolling every single one that I had done (into exactly the same shape)!

For this funeral, I wanted to help, but knew my limits ... as a non-Palauan. I took a few photos of the Ma'as (the "old women" of our island who are the most highly respected individuals and the ones who do all the traditional foods for funerals) while they worked and then I volunteered to work one of the "ovens" that you'll see below. It was hot smokey work, but at least I was doing something. One Palauan even told me that my fire looked really good which was a HUGE compliment!

For this funeral they used 160 pounds of flour to make the amount of bread they needed! The woman in the pink shirt below mixed it all by hand!

Once rolled, the rolls are placed on these metal pans which can be lowered into the "ovens" (gas drums) for cooking.

Here is one of the ovens. I think we had 5 or 6 going at once. Mostly coals are left in the bottom of the drum, then on the lid, a fire is started and fed with the coconut husks you see here (they burn great!).

The finished product - delicious!!

Here all the rolls are being sorted (the burnt ones are given to the help) and counted to be sure there is enough for the all the funeral guests. What a job!


Molly W. said...

That is a-maz-ing! They look delicious!

Miss Lula said...

Thank you! This is our house in Angaur. Relatives, friends, and community get together in preparation for my grandmother's funeral­čĺ×