An olotera viewed from the side.
The front of an olotera.


Borrowed from Spanish olotera, from olote (corncob) +‎ -era.


olotera (plural oloteras)

  1. A traditional Mexican tool consisting of bound, shortened corncobs, against which ears of corn are scraped against to remove their kernels.
    • 1960, William Madsen, The Virgin’s Children: Life in an Aztec Village Today, Austin: University of Texas Press:
      Timo sat on a log with the olotera between his legs.
    • 1975, Leonardo Manrique C., “34. The Otomi”, in Ethnology (Handbook of Middle American Indians; 7 & 8), Austin: University of Texas Press, page 690:
      The Otomi prefer to do it by scraping the ears against an olotera (fig. 8,c), a bunch of corncobs bound together
    • 2015, Nancy Deffebach, María Izquierdo and Frida Kahlo: Challenging Visions in Modern Mexican Art, Austin: University of Texas Press, page 126:
      The woman, who is bent intently upon her work, uses a tool called an olotera to strip the grain from the cob, which she holds between her legs at crotch level, while a large basket is placed between her feet to catch the grain.




olote (corncob) +‎ -era


  • IPA(key): /oloˈteɾa/, [o.loˈt̪e.ɾa]


olotera f (plural oloteras)

  1. (Mexico) olotera
    Synonym: desgranadora