A rice pounder is an agricultural tool made from a simple machine and commonly used in Southeast Asia to dehull rice or to turn rice into rice flour. The device has similar functionality to a mortar and pestle, but with more mechanical advantage to conserve labor. Rice is dehulled by continually raising and then dropping the heavy head or pestle of the pounder into a block or mortar. The head is raised by standing on the handle of the device past its fulcrum (similar to a see-saw). Once raised, the user quickly removes themselves from the handle to allow the heavy head to fall into the mortar and pulverize its contents. This is in contrast to a previous method of rice dehulling that involved directly lifting, and using a large heavy, loose pestle directly on rice. Later more complex mechanical dehuskers or rice hullers powered by gas engines or electricity have replaced many rice pounders.
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