Page images

used is the doda butia, a course grain, like that which, in Bengal, is by the English called cargo rice.

In the Hainu crop the following is the management of the dry seed cultivation. During the months Phalguna, Chaitra, and Vaisakha, that is, from the 14th of February till the 23d of May, plough twice a month; having, three days previous to the first ploughing in Phalguna, softened the soil by giving the field water,

After the fourth ploughing, the field must be manured with dung, procured either from the city or the cow-house. After the fifth ploughing, the field must be watered, either by rain, or from the canal ; and three days afterwards the sced must be sown broad-cast, and then be covered by the sixth ploughing. And the rain, that happens to fall for the first thirty days after sowing the seed, must be allowed to run off by a breach in the bank which surrounds the field; and should much rain fall at this season, the crop is considerably injured. Should there have been no rain for the first thirty days, the field must be kept constantly inundated, till the crop be ripe; but if there have been occasional showers, the inundation should not commence till the 45th day. Weeding, and loosening the soil about the roots of the young plants with the hand, and placing them at proper distances, when sown too close, or too far apart, must be performed three times; first, on the forty-fifth or fiftieth day; secondly, twenty days afterwards; and thirdly, fifteen days after the second weeding. These periods refer to the crops that require seven months to ripen. In rice which ripens in five months and a half, the field must be inundated on the twentieth day; and the weedings are on the twentieth, thirtieth, and fortieth days.

In the Hainu crops the following is the manner of conducting the sprouted-seed cultivation, The ploughing season occupies the month of Ashadha, or from the twenty-second of June till the twenty-second of July. During the whole of this time, the field is inundated, and is ploughed four times; while at each ploughing, it is turned over twice in two different directions, which cross each other at right angles. This I shall call a double ploughing. About the first of Scravana (twentysecond of July,) the field is manured, immediately gets a fifth ploughing, and the mud is smoothed by the labourer's feet. All the water, except one inch in depth, must then be let off, and the prepared seed must be sown broad-cast. As it sinks in the mud, it requires no labour to cover it. For the first twenty-four days, the field must once every other day have some water, and must afterwards, until ripe, be kept constantly inundated. The weedings are on the twenty-fifth, thirty-fifth, and fiftieth days. In order to prepare the seed, it must be put into a pot, and kept for three days covered with water. It is then mixed with an equal quantity of rotten cow-dung, and laid in a heap, in some part of the house, entirely sheltered from the wind. The heap is well covered with straw and mats, and at the end of three days, the seed, having shot out sprouts about an inch in length, is found fit for sowing. This manner of cultivation is much more troublesome than that called dry-seed : and the produce from the same extent of ground is both nearly equal ; but the sprouted seed cultivation gives time for a preceding crop of pulse on the same field, and saves a quarter of the seed.

The manner of reaping and preserving all · the kinds of rice is nearly the same About a

week before the corn is fit for reaping, the water is let off, that the ground may dry. The corn is cut down about four inches from the ground with a reaping hook, called Cudugalu, or Cudagu. Without being bound up in sheaves, it is put in small stacks, about twelve feet high ; in which the stalks are placed outwards, and the ears inwards. Here the corn remains a week, or, if it rain, fourteen days. It is then spread out on a thrashing floor, made smooth with clay; cow-dung, and water ; and is trodden out by driving bullocks over it. If there has been rain, the corn, after having been thrashed, must be dried in the sun ; but in dry weather this trouble is unnecessary. It is then put up in heaps called Rashy, which contain about 60 Candacas, or 334 bushels. The heap, as I have before mentioned, is marked with clay, and is carefully covered with straw. A trench is then dug round it, to keep off the wa


ter. For twenty or thirty days, till the division of the crop between the government and the cultivator takes place, the corn is allowed to remain in the heap.*

The Hainu crop, which grows in the rainy season is commonly Gydda or, Doda Byra; and the former also most usually composes the crop of the dry season, except where the Doda Byra has preceded it: in which case, some of the kinds that are more quick of growth must be used. The grains that require six or seven months take two more ploughings than those that come to maturity in less time, which is the only difference in the process of cultivation. The only cultivation in use heret is the Mola or sprouted seed. In order to cultivate Gydda Byra in the rainy season, the field is watered in the month preceding Midsummer ; and then, having been drained, it is ploughed first lengthwise, and then across. Next day the double ploughing is repeated, and the field is inundated. On the fifth day the field is again drained, the double ploughing is repeated, and then the water is admitted. These steps are repeated on the 8th. Ilth, and 14th. days. At the third or fourth double ploughing, the field is manured with dnng; and immediately after the last of it is smoothed with a plank drawn by oxen (Maram), sown broad-cast with the prepared seed, and then covered two inches deep with water. On the third day after sowing, the field is drained,

* Dr. Buchanan's journey from Madras through the Mysore, &c. vol. i. p. 83, &c.

+ Kellamangalam in the Mysore.

and sprinkled with dry dung, which has been rubbed to dust. On the fifth day, an inch of water is admitted, and ever afterwards the field is inundated; the depth of water being increased as the rice grows, and care being taken that the young plants should be never entirely covered. On the 20th. day the field is harrowed with the rake, drawn by oxen ; and on the 30th. 40th, and 90th days, the weeds are removed by the hand. At this last weeding all superfluous stalks are destroyed by pinching them between the toes. When ripe, this crop is cut up with the straw and put up in heaps. Next day, it is trodden out by oxen. The straw is sometimes spoiled by the rain and thrown into the dung-hill; but at other times, it is preserved for fodder.

The cultivation for the crop raised in the dry season, is quite similar to that before described ; but the ploughing season is different. The straw of this crop is always well preserved, which renders it valuable ; but the quantity of grain is smaller.

On good soils, the crop raised in the wet season, produces forty fold of Gydda Byra, or almost forty-five bushels an acre, worth

£. 1 19 4. In the crop cultivated in dry weather, on good soils, the produce is thirty seeds, or rather more than thirty bushels and a half for each acre. The rice of both crops keeps equally well, and is of equal value.*

* Sec Dr. Buchanan's journey from Madras through My. sore, &c. vol. iii. p. 415, &c.

« PreviousContinue »