Processing the cane to extract the juice
Collecting and filtering the cane juice
Boiling the juice into syrup. The vats get hotter and the liquid is more purified as the syrup is moved progressively through each stage
Skimming the debris off as it boils to the surface
Moving the syrup to the final vat
Stoking the underground oven with dried, leftover cane scraps
The syrup is ready when it is bright amber
Syrup is cooled in a large stone basin
As it cools, the syrup is scraped
...into a malleable "dough"
Then they must work quickly to form the hot "dough" into individual balls before it cools and hardens
Completed balls cooling and hardening
Sugar ready to sell. Balls are crumbled into tea, used in baking, or eaten straight as a sweet treat.