Plants, Man and the Land in the Vilcanota Valley of Peru by Daniel W. Gade (auth.)

By Daniel W. Gade (auth.)

Man's symbiosis with crops is the main primary fabric truth of human lifestyles on this planet. Geographers, in addition to botanists, anthropologists and different scientists, have lengthy been attracted to this point of the man-nature subject. In American geography, CARL O. SAUER emphasised a temporal in addition to spatial point of view within the cultural knowing of man's courting to organic phe­ nomena. His researches and people of his affiliates within the 'Berkeley tuition' confirmed that the main fruitful probabilities for enforcing this strategy are in non­ business societies that have direct and pervasive hyperlinks among vegetation and guy (GADE, 1975). The research that follows is a geography of plant assets in a big Andean valley having nice environmental range and a cultural con­ stant, in as far as a non-literate, Quechua-speaking peasantry dominates via­ out the region. My easy target has been to appreciate the current use of vegetation, cultivated and wild, as they've got diverse from position to put and during time. basic and secondary files and native informants have been very important assets of historic details. lots of the modern facts during this examine have been derived from over 20 months of empirical observations of the day by day life of farming folks of their fields, houses and markets. the nice traditional fantastic thing about the Vilcanota melancholy is matched merely by way of the stark poverty which has been the lot of the vast majority of those that reside there.

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Extra info for Plants, Man and the Land in the Vilcanota Valley of Peru

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In clayey-sandy soils, the period is 7 to 8 days; in loamy soils, the interval is 4 to 5 days. When the soils are very sandy or gravelly, work can begin the day after irrigation. Irrigation water in the valley is supplied by diverting the glacier-fed streams which flnw down the slopes and eventually into the Vi1canota River. Nowhere is water from the Vilcanota moved up and out of the stream bed and onto the fields as is done in the Old World. Norias or Persian water wheels, necessary in Spanish irrigation, are absent from the valley and the indigenous method prevails completely.

Thus the ayllu of today does not ensure equality, but some features of the Inca system remain. Still other peasants, from 15 to 20 percent of all the valley agriculturalists in the late 1960's, are connected neither with any ayllu nor a manor estate. These farmers own outright small parcels of land varying in size from hectare up to 20 hectares. A property larger than 10 hectares is often referred to as a quinta; smaller than that, a chacra. Often, but not always, these farmers have some European blood but are culturally cholo.

GRINDING The indigenous saddlestone and the introduced millstone turned by a water wheel are used to grind (kutay) most of the seeds and tubers grown in the valley. The quem and the revolving donkey mill apparently were never introduced to this part of Latin America. The saddlestone used in the Vilcanota Valley is essentially the same kind described by GARCILASO DE LA VEGA (1960:369) as the grinding tool of the Incas. A half moon-shaped stone (tunac) rounded on its grinding edge, is rocked back and forth over the seeds· which are placed on a flat stone (mutka or batdn).

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