Long ago, collecting rocks (gal– corals or limestone) from house reef was widespread throughout the islands. As there was no aggregate to build houses, people mined
Taking and collecting corals was an extremely difficult and daunting work. Men spent hours and hours under the blistering sun.
People gather in the beach to collect corals. The extensive work is carried out by men who formed into groups. Iron rods, axe, hammers were used in this process.
They sang songs while indulging in this vigorous work. The daunting task was vital for their livelihood. Their courageous and dedicated work was carried out to build shelters. The difficult work was not carried out solely for a specific person. It was a united effort for the whole community. It was a symbol of unity and love.
After several days of extensive labor, the rocks were kept on the higher ground to dry up. The exposure removes the salt and the pungent smell of the rocks. Then the rocks were transported to households or special places to break into irregular pieces.
The rocks were smashed using tools, especially koaraadi (axe), into pieces. People who were specialized in breaking corals carried out the work of breaking large corals into specific sizes. But they did not wear goggles and they executed this difficult and dangerous work with bare hands. These skilled masters sat on a small wooden slab and hammered their axe on large rocks. They start the work in the morning and enjoyed the heavy work until the sunset. When the masters leave their coral breaking site, heap of pieces of corals are left on the area.