Mr. Amador Tzib demonstrates how corn was shelled using a mechanical corn sheller
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August 27, 2021

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This page is managed by Ak Kuchkabal Maya, which means nuestra Familia Maya is a group to promote and record the cultural events from our Maya people and Yucatec Maya cultural groups in Belize. The idea is to use the social media to promote our Maya Yucatec culture,language,history and Identity.
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Mr. Amador Tzib demonstrates how corn was shelled using a mechanical corn sheller

A picture, A Tale, Survival: Mechanical Corn Sheller

The corn which falls under the grass family (Poaceae) became a notable staple within the Maya civilization from the late pre-classic and early classic period, when the Maya were able to domesticate the plant. The descendants of the Maya in the region have maintained a historical connection to the product. Corn has been a crucial aspect for survival and a critical element of many dishes in the region.

Though it is used for many dishes, corn is mainly utilized for the production of tortillas. After the corn is dry and harvested, traditionally, families would manually shell the product. However, with the advent of modern technology, new methods have emerged to shell corn. In this image, Mr. Amador Tzib demonstrated how corn was shelled using a mechanical corn Sheller. In this process, the dry corn is pushed through a funnel-like metal opening above, and a wheel is manually turned to shell the corn. This process enables a faster low-scale corn shelling and an easier nixtamalization which produces the “masa” for tortillas. This machine was used during the latter part of the 1900s and continues to be operated by some families in the village.

Kudos to Mr. Amador Tzib for showcasing the small-scale mechanical, manually operated, corn sheller.

Photograph by Delmer Tzib

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