Today when you want to wash your clothes, you just use the washing machine… but how did they do back then when the washing machine did not exist? Well, cultural practice, long ago people had different traditional methods to do their laundry. Among the most common, families had in the corner of their dwellings a ‘washing rock’ (ross lavé) where the process involved rubbing and beating the garment, rinsing and soaking, until it was satisfactorily clean and then dried. But the drawback of this method was that it also involved the domestic consumption of water supply which had to be paid.
We must also understand that, much ago than that, even domestic water supply wasn’t existant, and water had to be collected from public supplies, making it even more combustom. So then was also the fact that the laundry could be done with abundant water in the nearby rivers. Early mornings, these women would equip themselves with their loads of garment, and make way to the rivers nearby. After the laundry, the clothes would be left to dry on nearby grasses or brought back home to dry on ropes designated for that purpose. This was somehow a very well sought activity as the ladies would go accompanied with either children or neighbours and the day would be spent talking about everything and socialising.
Now this activity is practically no longer seen… why? Technology has provided alternative methods to do the laundry… now nearly all households are equiped with a washing machine.
A more recent view of this same activity can be seen below…