Poppy Scrapper

  Poppy Scrapper
Dimensions:
5" L x >.5" W x 0.25" D
Accession Number:
2011.6.6

Opium is collected from poppy plants in a labor-intensive process. Farmers use scrapers and other tools to etch lines into the plant’s pods by hand. Once scored, raw opium oozes from the pods which farmers collect and dry into opium gum. The gum is then bundled into bricks or cakes, wrapped in leaves or plastic, and sent to a refinery where it is processed and packaged into morphine or heroin. This wooden scraper knife is from the Northern Helmand Province of Afghanistan, the country where most of the world’s illicit opium is grown.