Fetching water

In the villages, but more often in the countryside, many women have the task of fetching water. They stand waiting for their turn at the public spigots with their buckets strewn around. Wrapped to their bodies are lambas, large patterned pieces of fabric which are also used as blankets, tablecloths, and curtains. Upon a woman’s turn in the queue she places her bucket under the spigot and waits until it’s brimming with water. Then she dons a skull pad, puts the bucket on her head, and walks the water back to her home. The balance involved in this delivery is fantastic to my western eyes—Malagasy women never use their hands to support the buckets on their heads. Even more fantastic is the common sight of a woman fetching water with a second bucket in her hand and an infant strapped to her back.

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