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Tela Ghanno | The force behind your cold pressed coconut oil - Part 3 of 4 by Rahul Nair

Goa, although known as the land of coconuts, has only one man today to give you natural cold pressed coconut oil.

Tomaturgo Fernandes’ family has been carrying on this tradition for more than fifty years now. He runs the oil mill also known as Tela Ghanno with the help of his bullocks. People from the village and surrounding places in Canacona frequently visit to buy oil.

“It gets hectic at times” says Tomaturgo.

Since oil is extracted from dried coconut, the mill runs in full swing during summers. Coconut oil being primarily used for cooking, has a good demand throughout the year. The mill generally runs from morning to evening depending on the stock to be pressed.

“My bullocks are getting old, just like me” he says laughing.

The process is time consuming and not worth the efforts. “Also there’s no one to take over the mill after me” says a worried Tomaturgo. His elder son, who finished high school, has little interest in the profession.

Through the time I was shooting this project, I personally felt bad for the animal. Even though they have less reasoning skills, watching an animal pull weight round & round the entire day was difficult for me as a human.

Wouldn’t it be better if machines replaced them?

Tela Ghanno | Tomaturgo Fernandes, Agonda, Goa

Dedicated to the bull that made countless rounds…

Photos & words by Rahul Nair


Rahul Nair

Rahul is a wicked Keralite born, Bombay raised, Goa based photographer with a keen eye for the often overlooked.

You can find parts 1, 2 & 4 to the series here:

Along with another of Rahul's short films 'Pilots of Goa' over here.

And be sure to follow Rahul for more visual stories on Instagram @rahulnaayar


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