Burning of wood (Charcoal)

In the past, charcoal and wood collected from the woods was used in cooking. This was before kerosene stoves and later gas stoves made their appearance.
Making charcoal requires a special approach. Not all types of wood can be used for making charcoal. The most commonly used wood species on Bonaire was the 'palu di kuida' (kui), but the palu di obada (wabi), watapana, brasia, kibrahacha, and other tree species were also used. The 'softer trees' like the sia tree were not adequate.

First a hole was dug; it had the shape of a triangle. A lattice was placed at the bottom. To make the lattice, long, thin branches were cut, placed first vertically and then horizontally.
After looking for wood in the woods, the wood had to be chopped into pieces. The length of the branches is not important, it depends on the size of the oven. After the wood has been chopped into pieces, it is placed in the oven.
There are people who make two or three ‘eyes’ and a ‘mouth’ for the oven. Cacti or stones can be used for the eyes or the mouth. Then the branches are covered. The branches used to be covered with leaves of oliba, sacks, etc. Lately zinc plates are used.

After two to three days, the oven can be opened. This happens when no more smoke comes out of the oven.

You can read more about this in ‘Boneiru di Antaño’ p.41 Boi Antoin – archivoboneiru.com