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The handheld stone, mano (or “hand,” in Spanish), is used to grind down corn against the larger metate stone. Used much like mortar and pestel stones, the tools work in combination together to crush plants, herbs, or grains into a doughy blend or powder.
Mano and metate artifacts have been found in the southwest region of the United States. Archeologists date these tools back to the stone age and are given a timestamp of 6000 to 500 B.C.
Each of the stone instruments have specific names to distinguish their type of use, based on the shape and construction. For example, the mano can be referred to as one or two-handed, biscuit, rocker, turtle back, loaf, etc. And the metate can be classified as a basin, block, flat, slab, and trough to name a few.