The Traditional African Grain Grinding Methods.
TRADITIONAL AFRICAN GRAIN GRINDING
The Neolithic period was a time of global agricultural revolution marking the beginning of human settlements and more rapid population growth.
Wild grasses were among the first widely domesticated plant species, and they were bred to produce crops such as wheat, corn, sorghum, and varietal millets.
In Africa, sorghum and a range of millets — including pearl millet, finger millet, teff, fonio, and guinea millet — were developed, and they remain important staples for hundreds of millions of people hence they developed several millstones and hand tools which were early mortars, pestles, and grinders, and they were used to pound and mill African cereals.
Two round stones — one stationary, the other rotating above it — ground grains such as sorghum, teff, and pearl millet into flours purposed for multiple gastronomic uses.
Sorghum is a cereal grain that grows in both subtropical and semiarid regions. The impressive grain was first cultivated in Northeastern Africa, with evidence of domesticated species found at archeological sites near the eastern Egypt-Sudan border dated 8000 BCE.
Sorghum, because of its caloric and nutritional content, was invaluable for Neolithic and Iron Age agricultural societies of the eastern Sahel. It then spread west across the Sahelian belt to the Niger River Basin, adapting to a range of ecological environments and leading to its cultivation in all regions of the continent, where it continues to be a vital and versatile cereal.
Sorghum is paired with pearl millet to make Sahelian couscous. It is also pounded into flour used to make leavened bread and dumplings and is essential for brewing beer and making porridges.
Porridge, which can be made with both fermented and unfermented sorghum, is an important breakfast throughout the continent. The filling meal provides carbohydrate energy packed with essential fatty and amino acids.
Teff is an annual cereal grain indigenous to Ethiopia and Eritrea.