These men are called
"chalias," and their labor is confined to this particular branch.
The season being over, they pass the remaining portion of the
year in idleness, their earnings during one crop being sufficient
to supply their trifling wants until the ensuing harvest.
Their practice in this employment naturally renders them
particularly expert, and in far less time than is occupied in the
description they run a sharp knife longitudinally along a stick,
and at once divest it of the bark. On the following day the
strips of bark are scraped so as entirely to remove the outer
cuticle. One strip is then laid within the other, which, upon
becoming dry, contract, and form a series of enclosed pipes. It
is subsequently packed in bales, and carefully sewed up in double
sacks for exportation.
The essential oil of cinnamon is usually made from the refuse of
the crop; but the quantity produced, in proportion to the weight
of cinnamon, is exceedingly small, being about five ounces of oil
to half a hundred-weight of the spice.
Although the cinnamon appears to require no more than a common
quartz sand for its production, it is always cultivated with the
greatest success where the subsoil is light, dry and of a loamy
The appearance of the surface soil is frequently very deceitful.