The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : 'Konyak Nagas' by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, (1969)

caption: Chapter One. The Material Background
caption: shifting cultivation or slash and burn agriculture
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York29:4
text: Most of the tribal populations inhabiting the hills on India's northeast frontier practise a system of soil utilization known as slash-and-burn cultivation. This type of shifting cultivation is well suited to mountainous country of tropical zones where the rainfall is substantial. It cannot support a very dense population, but where land is ample and cultivation can alternate with long periods of fallow, the yield from slash-and-burn cultivation is not necessarily inferior to that attained by more permanent forms of tillage. Shifting cultivation was prevalent among many of the tribal populations of middle and south India, but there, shortage of land and the claims of forest conservancy have in recent years restricted its scope. In countries such as Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, and Laos, as well as in parts of Indonesia, however, most hill people continue to practice this type of agriculture.