Talzim (olive basket)

Gender and life cycle

The talzim is used to harvest and hold olives as part of the traditional olive oil production process. This fact gave it a clearly gendered nature until the 20th century, depending on the phase of the process. During the vareo phase (hitting the tree branches with poles to shake the fruit loose), when olives are also harvested in the traditional manner even today, it is important to understand that such activities, which form part of the family economy, involved both men and women. However, it is true that men predominately did the shaking, while woman most often did the gathering. Nevertheless, it was common for a system to be established in which they alternated duties. It is here that the talzim appears as a container for the collected olives, forming part of a system of labour in which the division by gender must be reconsidered.