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Interpreting the Evidence

Workers Scraping Manioc Roots, 1933

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    The Great Depression and WW II (1929 - 1945)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Global History and Geography

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:


  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Workers Scraping Manioc Roots, 1933 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Workers scraping manioc (cassava) roots in the State of Bahia, 1933.
Historical Context
Manioc, or cassava, was a staple food for the natives of Brazil.  Raw manioc is poisonous, but Indigenous groups developed a way to extract the poisonous juices and make it into flour.  This flour is known today as farinha de mandioca (manioc meal) and is still an important part of the Brazilian diet.  Manioc is a versatile food.  From manioc, we also get tapioca.  Sweet manioc, which is not poisonous, can also be boiled and eaten like potatoes or fried like French fries.
Essential Question
How does geography impact human settlement and economy?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and discuss the impact of geography on the local economy.
Historical Challenges
On what other continent is manioc grown? How did it get there?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: How is the poison taken out of manioc? Are there any other foods you know of that can be poisonous?
English Language Arts: Write instructions in your own words for making flour from manioc.
Family & Consumer Sciences: What other foods are eaten in Brazil? Cook a meal from Brazilian recipes.