Root crops were either planted after underbrush clearing, before burning the field (a practice locally known as pagara’) or after the burning of the dead vegetation (a technique called padalus). Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is planted around the margins of the swidden field, at the same time with rice, or in separate fields.
Compared to the mid-eighties, cassava production amongst the Tanabag Batak is now at the lowest, and it can no longer support the people during the hungry months. The Tanabag Batak settlement is located only a few kilometers away from the seashore, therefore Batak have little incentives to develop root crops cultivation in the interior (because of wild pigs), as well as around their permanent settlement (because of stray pigs). Since root-crop production is shrinking, the Batak favor only those varieties that give the highest yields in the shortest possible time. The cultivation of cassava and sweet potatoes is now limited to the madali (fast) varieties. As a result, the old mabuhai (long-duration) varieties are abandoned. For instance, peoples’ preference goes for the yellow variety (dulaw) of cassava that can be harvested in three/four months. Similarly, local varieties of sweet potatoes such as tamlag, kaliktan and raging are replaced with improved ones.
This shooting has been taken in 2004 and 2005. For more information, the following article: ‘Cycles of Politics and Cycles of 'Nature' (Culture): The State of Permanent Crisis in the Uplands of Palawan (the Philippines), in R. Ellen (ed.) 'Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Modern Crises: Coping Strategies in Island Southeast Asia'. London and New York: Berghahn, 2007 – can be downloaded from this site: kent.ac.uk/sac/staff-profiles/profiles/social-anthropology/research-staff/novellino_dario.html.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?