River-powered clay pounders GIF.
Note that the beam has no enclosed bearings, only simple, unrestrained pivots. The recoil from the beam hitting the clay would probably destroy an enclosed bearing quickly. I'd love to think that these primitive engineers designed it that way but the reality is probably a clay mill farther up the river that has its bearings beaten into splinters. It's still an ingenious way to avoid the complexity and frictional losses of the conventional waterwheel turning a shaft with embedded lifters.
For some weird reason I thought of the inverse of the thermodynamic drinking bird toy instead of using a closed system with thermally sensitive fluid where the bird dips it's beak which causes the movement to continue
except here the design is so simple that once the weight of the water overcomes the weight of the hammer on the other end of the fulcrum it tips spilling the water.
Genius really when you consider as Marv pointed out the low friction and almost complete lack of any possibility of stiction until the pivot wore down
The Primitive Technology guy did a build of one of these recently. Also called a monjolo or kara-usu; an analog likely exists in many cultures.
Interesting. Per that link, it looks like they're allowing 55 salmon for a 4-person household; certainly enough to justify building a wheel.
I wonder if a fish gutting machine is feasible to build. Here's an example of a commercial one on YouTube that shows the workings:
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