[permaculture] Traditional Weather Indicators - Sent using Google Toolbar
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Thu Oct 7 21:48:48 EDT 2010
TRADITIONAL WEATHER INDICATORS:
IMPLICATIONS TO IFUGAO AGRICULTURE AND DAILY LIFE
Out of various factors which control agricultural production, weather
is the only factor over which man has no control (Verma:1998).
Virtually, weather condition determines the failure or success of
crops. It affects plant growth, influences development and spread of
plant diseases, as well as soil integrity. Thus, in managing farming
activities, weather forecasting is an indispensable tool. Knowledge
of the onset of rainy or dry season as well as adverse weather
conditions helps farmers prepare thereby minimizing crop destruction
In most of indigenous communities where modern technology is
unavailable, farmers base their weather forecast on various indicators
such as astronomical, environmental, biological, and socio-cultural
phenomena including religious beliefs and practices. By inferring
relationships between these indicators and weather conditions, farmers
are guided in planning agricultural activities and devising adaptive
coping mechanisms best suited to the anticipated climatic conditions.
In Ifugao, farmers have, since time immemorial, relied more on
environmental, plant and animal behavior, rather than on astronomical
factors, in making critical decisions concerning agricultural tasks.
Activities related to terrace construction, maintenance, and rice
cultivation depends heavily on the recognition of successions of
observable environmental changes. By carefully observing weather and
climate patterns as well as plant and animal behavior, adaptive
measures were made to appropriately cope with changing conditions that
are otherwise detrimental to their crops. Through many decades of
observation and experience, the wisdom gained became a significant
body in the people’s indigenous knowledge and valuable heritage.
Currently, however, much of the knowledge has vanished because of the
effect of education, modernity, cash economy, and christianity. At
present, there are very few Ifugaos who are knowledgeable on these
weather indicators, hence, this study.
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