Sago Washing Troughs

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Sago is a starch extracted from the pith (mumut) of sago palm trees. This starch is a major staple food for the people in New Ireland. A sago palm can be harvested from its 6th year up to the 15th, and generally the older the tree, the more saksak it will produce. The tree is split length wise and the mumut is removed using a tool called the Sapal. The mumut looks like a fine mulch. The saksak is then extracted by kneading and washing the mumut in traditional troughs.