Harvest season life in Pinar del Rio - Cuba's Westernmost province.
The work link between human hands and soil has been around since the beginning. In mechanized automation, this world dynamic is increasingly rare. In Tobaccoland, where fine leaves are guided into slow curls of smoke, we witness this old romance.
In Cigar Journal, a respected tobacco publication, it's said a cigar touches two hundred hands before it is lit. The arc is long, through early Spring during the planting of seeds, through the cultivation until late Winter, when the leaves are handpicked, brought into the drying houses, hand threaded together to a long wooden beam, then hung up in the rafters to dry for three months. The tobacco is then packed and readied for the government, who dictates all the transaction numbers, as it's normal for them to take 90% of the entire crop. The remaining 10% can used however the farmers like, primarily being sold to tourists. After leaving the farm, many other steps take place before the tobacco is for sale in shops worldwide.
Focus often falls on the cigars, though the real heart is the farming community itself. These moments celebrate that lifestyle.