Woman and child gleaning ears of corn left after the harvest.
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Date Created: 1900/1915
More Information: The church in the background is Pajala church in the Swedish province of Norrbotten. Gleaning took place in Sweden until the early 1900s. For many poor people and people without their own land, gleaning played an important part in the household's food supply. From the eighteenth century, a scythe was used in Sweden for harvesting, with any ears of corn left on the field collected by hay sweeps. Anything still left on the harvested fields could then be collected by the poor. With the improvement in living conditions and a social safety net in the twentieth century, gleaning lost its importance and takes place today mainly for ideological rather than practical reasons.