Sacred Farming

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search


By Evaggelos Vallianatos:

"Indigenous people and peasants have detailed knowledge of nature. Their religion is a spiritual form of farming - pleading to the gods to bring them a good harvest. Their celebrations, their fiestas, are prayers of enjoyment to their gods for their ancestors, animals, crops, harvest, the dead and the living. Indigenous people in the Philippines consider the land a gift of the gods.

Land in the savannah grasslands of the Upper East region of Ghana is a sanctuary for the gods.

The Dai people of southwest China protect and preserve sacred groves where they worship their gods - exactly like the ancient Greeks.

The Dayak Pasir Adang people live in East Borneo, Indonesia, and practice sacred farming. If their reading of nature is auspicious, they use fire for clearing the land in order to plan their crops. They don't destroy or burn fruit-bearing trees or ground that has the graves of their ancestors. They sow seeds of spinach, bitter brassica, corn, and cucumber.

Rice seeds are the most sacred of seeds of the Dayak Pasir Adang people. They place the first rice seeds in holes, each with a special name - father, mother, captain, and guardian. The community sows and harvests the rice.

At harvest time, men, women, and children work together. They sing and pray to the gods. The unhusked rice grains that will become the seed for the next growing season are cleaned first, and, then, the rest of the rice grains are trampled and dried in the sun for two to three days. Finally, the rice is thrown in the air, its chaff and impurities blown away.

In the same tradition of sacred farming, the Mende rice peasants of southern and eastern Sierra Leone use rice varieties best adapted to the ecological conditions of their land and region. And since rice is a self-pollinating crop, the Mende peasants do the shifting and choosing of rice seeds coming their way, in the rice fields, and next door in nature.

They revere their ancestors for the rice bounty they left them. But they no more feel they own the rice varieties they developed than they own the breeze. Yet they are experts in combining and selecting seeds for their way of life, which is sacred agriculture." (

More Information

  1. Neotraditional Economics