Harrowing Rice Fields, Philippines

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tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Rice is the staff of life in the Philippines (fl´ -pn). The natives eat it three times a day. Fortunately the climate and a great deal of the country is adapted to growing the grain. You see here the old-fashioned way in which rice is farmed in these islands. The fields are a "lob-lolly" of mud and water, through which the men are wading half knee-deep. The harrows they are using consist of a simple iron frame in which teeth are set. The implement is held in position by a wooden handle. A strange-looking animal is hitched to the harrow. This is a water buffalo, commonly called the carabao (kä´ rä-bä´ ). His native home is in mud and water. When these animals are worked in the fields they must be unhitched every few hours so they can wallow in the water. They are large, husky brutes, but they are not able to work long at a time. You will observe that the harness is the simplest kind. In the Philippines many of the rice fields are plowed in the mud. The wet soil is then leveled with harrows. The grain is first sown in beds in June, and the plants are set out in the fields in July. Old and young help in the transplanting. Each plant is set in the mud by hand. The fields are fenced in with layers of sod. This holds the water in the fields, for the rice must be kept flooded most of the time. In a few months after planting it is ripe, and the harvesting season is on. The fields are then dry, and the grain is reaped by hand. It is tied in bundles, and loaded on carts pulled by carabao. The bundles are stored near the houses, and the rice is hulled as it is needed. In the background you will observe the tall huts of the farmers, with their roofs of thatch. Keystone ID: 10064 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
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