Cocoa Harvesting Machete

This small machete was used by workers at the Mars Center for Cocoa Science in Itajuipe, Bahia, Brazil. Typically machetes are used for a variety of work from trimming of branches and harvesting pods to opening the pods or fending off snakes.
Cacao trees, the source of all chocolate, is grown in equatorial regions of Africa, South America, and Asia by about 6.5 million small land owners using simple techniques. But the trees are endangered by diseases such as black pod, witches’ broom, and frosty pod rot. Additionally, the low productivity of the trees helps lock farmers into poverty. The Mars company maintains a research facility in Brazil to improve cacao cultivation techniques and help develop hybrids resistant to disease and improve yields.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
black (handle color)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 1 5/8 in x 13 5/8 in x 7/8 in; 4.1275 cm x 34.6075 cm x 2.2225 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of MARS Inc.
See more items in
Work and Industry: Agriculture
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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