This mortar and pestle were used to grind coffee beans after they were dried and roasted. Coffee was a major cash crop in Puerto Rico, second only to sugar. It grows well in the low mountains of the island, like the fertile area around the town of Yauco in the southwest. In the 19th century many Corsicans settled in this region and played a significant role in developing the island's coffee economy, both as growers and exporters.
Description (Spanish)
El pilón se usaba para machacar los granos de café una vez secos y tostados. El café constituía un cultivo comercial de gran relevancia en Puerto Rico, el segundo en importancia después del azúcar. Se da bien en las montañas bajas de la isla, como por ejemplo en la zona fértil alrededor de la ciudad de Yauco, en el sudoeste. Durante el siglo XIX se establecieron en esta región muchos colonos oriundos de Córcega, quienes desempeñaron un papel esencial en el desarrollo de la economía de la isla en torno al café, impulsando tanto la producción como la exportación.
Currently not on view
Object Name
mortar And pestle
Date made
ca 1970
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 21 cm x 48 cm x 28 cm; 8 1/4 in x 18 7/8 in x 11 in
place made
Puerto Rico
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Daily Life
Puerto Rico
Household Tools and Equipment
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Cultures & Communities
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Mortar and Pestle
Credit Line
Gift of Teodoro Vidal

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