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The taste of salt

De Ndeye Souna Dieye


At Ngay Ngay, a village in northern Senegal, there are real natural evaporative basins in which depending on the year large or small quantities of sea salt dry out.

Located 15 kilometres from Saint-Louis, the village is living around a complex community organisation : men divide the salt fields into plots, and women are those who harvest. In the end, the men receive a share of the crop, while women are those who took great pains over the harvesting.

I am fascinated by the work of these women, their gestures and their ability to exploit this natural resource with the most rudimentary means in such harsh conditions. By observing the culture of salt harvesting in this small village, I cannot help but see, yet again, a relation of the dominant vs dominated between men and women, as it so often happens in our cultures. In this village, women are the kingpins of the business, and can be exploited by their own husbands.

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