Mar 2, 2009

Bidayuh Pesta Birumuh - Land Clearing and Burning

Before planting of padi commenced, the hill slopes are cleared of vegetation and bushes. A few weeks after that, when the dead vegetation are dried, it will be burned to produce alkaline ash which act as natural nutrients for the small padi.

Nowadays, chemical fertilizers compliment the alkaline ash to promote better padi growth. Land clearing usually started as early as July and burning would be done latest by September. During this period, the weather in Borneo is usually hot and dry.

For the case of hill padi, the land is cleared and burned will also facilitate better planting as you won't want to walk around the ground which is littered with big fallen trees and haphazard dead branches and twigs.

The land before clearing with green vegetation and clear sky.

Once the land is cleared, the dead vegetation are burned.

Portion of burned land. See the blackened ground covered with ashes.

And during the burning season, the sky is filled with smoke and particles and it become hazy. The sky will be clear soon after a short-spell of raining days. That's the time when the padi started to grow.

Related posts:
* Pesta Birumuh - Bidayuh Rice Growing Festival

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