Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Working Hands

What story do our hands tell of us? How are your hands shaped by what you do? At some points in American history hands that were soft and white were a sign of success, as the lack of calluses proved that you had the means to pay others to labor for you. As a kid I loved seeing my Great Uncle’s hands. He was a dairy farmer, and a talented man. He hands were huge with long, strong fingers. You could see at a glance that they were equally at home throwing hay bales, milking cows, or coaxing an old tractor to life.

My friends at the Farmers’ Museum also work with their hands. Their hands haul animal feed, prune herbs, or kneed bread dough. Some stitch together brooms from broom corn, tend the Printing Press, dip candle wicks in hot wax, or shape hot iron. Here are our hands. Can you tell which hands belong to the Farmer, the Printer, the Farm Wife and Baker, the Maintenance crew, and the Tavern Keeper?

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