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  • Using the windbox, my niang first lit some dried grass, which was gathered and stacked during summer.

    Mao's last dancer

  • I always volunteered to help Niang push the windbox on those nights.

    Mao's last dancer

  • If both woks were in use at the same time, there would be no space for people to pass through that room without having to move aside whoever was operating the windbox.

    Mao's last dancer

  • I loved watching my niang cook while I pushed the windbox.

    Mao's last dancer

  • "Don't forget to come back and help me push the windbox!"

    Mao's last dancer

  • I was her favourite windbox pusher, the fastest among my brothers to make the fire.

    Mao's Last Dancer

  • Our niang was busy cooking dinner and my fourth brother was her windbox pusher.

    Mao's Last Dancer

  • That night we would use black coal, not half-burnt coal, and the flame would flare immediately with each push and pull of the windbox.

    Mao's Last Dancer


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  • a receptacle from which a blast of air is supplied (e.g., to a forge or blast furnace); also,

    "A chamber below the grate or surrounding a burner, through which air under pressure is supplied for combustion of the fuel."

    (From British Gas' online glossary of boiler terms)

    January 23, 2013