One of the highlights of the exhibition that we had at the end of the second Mapping Mapusa Market workshop in December 2013 was the mural that Meghana and Jessica made. These two students of the Sociology Department of Goa University decided to focus on the Goan bread (the pao) and all its aspects, from manufacture to delivery. Their mural was a part of their ‘project work’, which also included a video and plenty of sketches. The mural (which still remains on the wall of the entrance of the Mapusa market, thanks to some hair spray) depicts the traditional Goan bread-seller, the ‘poder‘, and his evolution over the years – from the days when he used to come walking with a basket and a bamboo staff, to current day when (in some areas at least) he comes on a scooter.
In my area (Caranzalem), the poder hasn’t switched over to motorised vehicles yet and he still comes on a bicycle with a basket and hand-blow horn, but in some places in Goa they even use cars and vans to deliver the Paos!
I believe much of the bread in the traditional bakeries is still made in wood fired ovens (bhattis) though other aspects of the process may have got mechanised along the way (like the dough, which may be made in an electric mixer).
Here’s the video of the making of the mural. If you’re in Goa, go see it live at Mapusa Market before the hair spray wears out!