Slash and Burn – 080816

Hey that’s a nice date number!

Anyway, today was pretty much spent entirely on preparation and a little bit of napping and here and there, so there isn’t anything interesting to talk about… Or is there?

When working on the Tancho Cranes project, Professor Ito managed to bring up the idea of how Slash and Burn agriculture correlates to Tancho Cranes. Fascinating, isn’t it? I’ll briefly explain it here.

Slash and Burn Agriculture basically consist of burning forests on mountain slopes. This then will create ash, and within the ash contains nutrition for the soil. This soil will then be nutrient rich, and be suitable for growing crops. People would move around once every 2~3 years, as the nutrients in the soil are not permanent.

Back in the old days, land was abundant and people were scarce. Slash and Burn agriculture was a very effective way on creating farmland, as it did not really require a lot of labour. The technique itself was very simple in its core. Burn, farm, rinse and repeat, so not much education was needed either.

Here comes the interesting part. By utilizing this theory, we can see how people used to be nomadic in order to find food via finding fertile soil. Animals, and this case Tancho Cranes, migrate for food, hence forming migratory patterns. The state currently provides the necessary infrastructure for agriculture, like rice fields, so people have the incentive to settle down. This thus makes people sedentary, and hence easier to control in the eyes of the state. Tancho Cranes are fed during winter, and therefore will have less incentive to move. This domestication of Tancho Cranes meant that they were no longer wild. Thus, we need to restore migratory pattern in order to make them wild and free again!

Fascinating, isn’t it?


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