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Conference Paper: Writing the Histories of Indigenous Agriculture in Southeast Asia.

TitleWriting the Histories of Indigenous Agriculture in Southeast Asia.
Authors
KeywordsAgriculture
South East Asia
Issue Date2009
Citation
Oral presentation, Department of History, The University of Hong Kong, March 2006 How to Cite?
Meeting of EuroSEAS, Napoli, September, 2007 How to Cite?
AbstractThe need for this review is obvious, for the historiography of agriculture, like its history, has been sorely neglected. The fairly-recent collection of essays published as New terrains in Southeast Asia history, (1) for instance, makes only passing mentions of the subject. A necessary preliminary to this introduction to the historiography of agriculture in the region is to define terms. Obviously there are many kinds of histories of agriculture; those linking trade, politics or economics with agriculture, histories of agricultural technology in general or particular, histories at all scales from the region as a whole to single villages or social groups. By ‘indigenous’ is meant those forms of agriculture that have been so long established that this term can be legitimately applied to them. Such are far more than simply ‘subsistence’, a term that begs a further set of questions, not to be addressed here. ‘Indigenous’ clearly excludes those forms of agriculture involving high levels of capitalization linked with export orientation of non-food commodities, though it may include those with some degree of centralized management. Such were the riceproducing systems of metayage that developed in colonial-era Cochinchina (2) and in Province Wellesley, Peninsular Malaysia, (3) or in the slave-based religious foundations of early Cambodia (4). Even if partly market-oriented, indigenous agriculture includes a significant subsistence component. Its methods are those of long standing traditions rather those of modern agricultural science though clearly in more recent times, some modern aspects may be included, such as large-scale irrigation from stored water, written titles to land or the use of fertilizers. Indigenous agriculture is also economically part of an over-arching and at the family level, an integrated system of obtaining the necessities of life from cultivation, the rearing of animals and from foraging, some of the last in the fields. (It may be argued, with some justification, that conceptually extracting agriculture from such a system fatally damages what in reality and in the eyes of its practitioners is a single entity).
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/53181

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHill, RD-
dc.date.accessioned2009-03-10T00:56:42Z-
dc.date.available2009-03-10T00:56:42Z-
dc.date.issued2009-
dc.identifier.citationOral presentation, Department of History, The University of Hong Kong, March 2006-
dc.identifier.citationMeeting of EuroSEAS, Napoli, September, 2007-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/53181-
dc.description.abstractThe need for this review is obvious, for the historiography of agriculture, like its history, has been sorely neglected. The fairly-recent collection of essays published as New terrains in Southeast Asia history, (1) for instance, makes only passing mentions of the subject. A necessary preliminary to this introduction to the historiography of agriculture in the region is to define terms. Obviously there are many kinds of histories of agriculture; those linking trade, politics or economics with agriculture, histories of agricultural technology in general or particular, histories at all scales from the region as a whole to single villages or social groups. By ‘indigenous’ is meant those forms of agriculture that have been so long established that this term can be legitimately applied to them. Such are far more than simply ‘subsistence’, a term that begs a further set of questions, not to be addressed here. ‘Indigenous’ clearly excludes those forms of agriculture involving high levels of capitalization linked with export orientation of non-food commodities, though it may include those with some degree of centralized management. Such were the riceproducing systems of metayage that developed in colonial-era Cochinchina (2) and in Province Wellesley, Peninsular Malaysia, (3) or in the slave-based religious foundations of early Cambodia (4). Even if partly market-oriented, indigenous agriculture includes a significant subsistence component. Its methods are those of long standing traditions rather those of modern agricultural science though clearly in more recent times, some modern aspects may be included, such as large-scale irrigation from stored water, written titles to land or the use of fertilizers. Indigenous agriculture is also economically part of an over-arching and at the family level, an integrated system of obtaining the necessities of life from cultivation, the rearing of animals and from foraging, some of the last in the fields. (It may be argued, with some justification, that conceptually extracting agriculture from such a system fatally damages what in reality and in the eyes of its practitioners is a single entity).en
dc.description.sponsorshipUniversity of Hong Kongen
dc.language.isoenen
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subjectAgricultureen
dc.subjectSouth East Asiaen
dc.titleWriting the Histories of Indigenous Agriculture in Southeast Asia.en
dc.typeConference_Paperen
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_versionen_HK

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