And they did that literally ! Blacksmiths at work.
Those were the days when heat-toughened men of old with brawns — and brains, of course — fashioned red hot pieces of iron and steel into tools and implements needed by the community.
Items made were varied – cangkul, spades, sickles, butcher’s cleavers….in fact anything that can be forged – ‘hot forging’ is the proper technical term. The job was tough, requiring precision strikes with big and small hammers, and constant pumping of the bellows to keep the furnace hot.
Our little kampong in Butterworth had one such shop, just opposite the bus stop where we used to board the bus to school. All gone now, but the rhythmic “ding-dang-ding” keeps ringing in my memory.