History of writing in Vietnam
Until the beginning of the 20th century, Vietnamese literature, governmental and religious documents and temple signs were written in classical Chinese, using Chinese characters or chu han. This had been done since at least 111 BC. Since as early as the 8th century novels and poetry in Vietnamese were written in the chữ nôm script, which used Chinese characters for Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary and an adapted set of characters for the native vocabulary with Vietnamese approximations of Middle Chinese pronunciations; the two scripts coexisted until the era of French Indochina when the Latin alphabet quốc ngữ script became the written medium of both government and popular literature. In Vietnamese, Chinese characters go by a variety names: chữ Hán: "words from Han Chinese", Hán tự: "Han characters/words". Hán văn: "Han literature" denotes Chinese language literature; the Vietnamese word chữ is derived from a Middle Chinese pronunciation of 字, meaning'character'. Sino-Vietnamese refer to cognates or terms borrowed from Chinese into the Vietnamese language preserving the phonology of the original Chinese.
As for syntax and vocabulary this Sino-Vietnamese language was no more different from the Chinese of Beijing than medieval English Latin was different from the Latin of Rome. The term Chữ Nôm refers to the former transcription system for vernacular Vietnamese-language texts, written using a mixture of original Chinese characters and locally coined nôm characters not found in Chinese to phonetically represent Vietnamese sounds." However the character set for chữ nôm is extensive, containing up to 20,000 logograms, many are both arbitrary in composition and inconsistent in pronunciation. Hán Nôm may mean both Hán and Nôm taken together as in the research remit of Hanoi's Hán-Nôm Institute, or refer to texts which are written in a mixture of Hán and Nôm, or some Hán texts with parallel Nôm translations. There is a significant orthographic overlap between Hán and Nôm and many characters are used in both Hán and Nôm with the same reading, it may be simplest to think of Nom as the Vietnamese extension of Han characters.
The term chữ. During Chinese domination period from 111 BC to 938 AD, Vietnam was under Chinese rule and so Chinese characters or Chu Han were used for writing. In most cases, formal writings were done in the language of Classical Chinese. Chinese was used extensively used in government and administration for entry via the Confucian examination system in Vietnam, conducted in van ngon. Chinese was the language of medicine, religion and high literature such as poetry. According to Dao Duy Anh, Vietnam started to have Chinese studies when Shi Xie taught Vietnamese people to write. In this period of over a thousand years, most of the inscriptions written on steles are in Chinese characters. During this period, Vietnamese existed as an oral language, before the creation of the Chu Nom script to preserve and circulate less serious poetry and narrative literature; these writings were at first indistinguishable from contemporaneous classical Chinese works produced in China, Korea, or Japan. These include the first poems in chữ nho by the monk Khuông Việt, the Nam Quốc Sơn Hà, many Confucian and Buddhist scriptures.
It has been suggested that Chinese characters were present in Vietnam before 111 BC, based on the interpretation of the inscription considered as a word on a dagger. However, more research needs to be done. Moreover on the Dong Son bronze drums used between 700 BC-100 AD, supposed inscriptions have yet to be deciphered. Between 939-1919, Chu Han continued to be used as the major means of writing among scholars and in government. In Vietnam, classical Chinese texts were read with the vocalization of Chinese text as such, equivalent to the Chinese on-yomi in Japanese kambun or the assimilated vocalizations in Korean hanmun; this occurred alongside the diffusion of Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary into the vernacular Vietnamese language, created a Sinoxenic dialect. The Sinologist Edwin G. Pulleyblank was the one of the first linguists to employ "Sino-Vietnamese" to recover the earlier history of Chinese. From the 13th Century the dominance of Chu Han began to be challenged by Chu Nom, a system of modified and invented characters modeled loosely on Chinese characters.
Unlike the system of chữ nho, allowed for the expression of purely Vietnamese words, was created in Vietnam at least as early as the 13th century. However, the earliest known use of chu Nom is documented to be from the 8th century. While designed for native Vietnamese speakers, chữ nôm required the user to have a fair knowledge of chữ Hán, thus chữ nôm was used for literary writings by cultural elites, while all other official writings and documents continued to be written in classical Chinese until the 20th century. Though technically different from chu Han, it is simplest to think of it as a descendant of chu Han--with modifications thereof as well as new Vietnamese-coined logograms. Together, they are called Han Nom. Quoc Ngu is the currently-used script of
A harvest festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. Given the differences in climate and crops around the world, harvest festivals can be found at various times at different places. Harvest festivals feature feasting, both family and public, with foods that are drawn from crops that come to maturity around the time of the festival. Ample food and freedom from the necessity to work in the fields are two central features of harvest festivals: eating, contests and romance are common features of harvest festivals around the world. In North America and the US each have their own Thanksgiving celebrations in October and November. In Britain, thanks have been given for successful harvests since pagan times. Harvest festival is traditionally held on the Sunday of the Harvest Moon; this is the full Moon. The celebrations on this day include singing hymns and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as Harvest Festival, Harvest Home, Harvest Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving.
In British and English-Caribbean churches and schools, some Canadian churches, people bring in produce from the garden, the allotment or farm. The food is distributed among the poor and senior citizens of the local community, or used to raise funds for the church, or charity. Harvest festivals in Asia include the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most spread harvest festivals in the world. In Iran Mehrgan was celebrated in an extravagant style at Persepolis. Not only was it the time for harvest, but it was the time when the taxes were collected. Visitors from different parts of the Persian Empire brought gifts for the king, all contributing to a lively festival. In India, Makar Sankranti, Thai Pongal, Uttarayana and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in January, Holi in February–March, Vaisakhi in April and Onam in August–September are a few important harvest festivals. Jews celebrate the week-long harvest festival of Sukkot in the autumn. Observant Jews build a temporary hut or shack called a sukkah, spend the week living, eating and praying inside of it.
A sukkah has a semi-open roof to allow the elements to enter. It is reminiscent of the structures Israelite farmers would live in during the harvest, at the end of which they would bring a portion to the Temple in Jerusalem. An early harvest festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the harvest season on 1 August and was called Lammas, meaning'loaf Mass'; the Latin prayer to hallow the bread is given in the Durham Ritual. Farmers made loaves of bread from the fresh wheat crop; these were given to the local church as the Communion bread during a special service thanking God for the harvest. By the sixteenth century a number of customs seem to have been established around the gathering of the final harvest, they include the reapers accompanying a laden cart. A play by Thomas Nashe, Summer's Last Will and Testament, contains a scene which demonstrates several of these features. There is a character personifying harvest; the scene is inspired by contemporary harvest celebrations, singing and drinking feature largely.
The stage instruction reads: The song which follows may be an actual harvest song, or a creation of the author's intended to represent a typical harvest song of the time: The shout of "hooky, hooky" appears to be one traditionally associated with the harvest celebration. The last verse is repeated in full after the character Harvest remarks to the audience "Is your throat cleare to helpe us sing hooky, hooky?" and a stage direction adds, "Heere they all sing after him". In 1555 in Archbishop Parker's translation of Psalm 126 occur the lines: In some parts of England "Hoakey" or "Horkey" became the accepted name of the actual festival itself: Another widespread tradition was the distribution of a special cake to the celebrating farmworkers. A prose work of 1613 refers to the practice as predating the Reformation. Describing the character of a typical farmer, it says: Early English settlers took the idea of harvest thanksgiving to North America; the most famous one is the harvest Thanksgiving held by the Pilgrims in 1621.
Nowadays the festival is held at the end of harvest. Sometimes neighbouring churches will set the Harvest Festival on different Sundays so that people can attend each other's thanksgivings; until the 20th century most farmers celebrated the end of the harvest with a big meal called the harvest supper, to which all who had helped in the harvest were invited. It was sometimes known as a "Mell-supper", after the last patch of corn or wheat standing in the fields, known as the "Mell" or "Neck". Cutting it signified the end of the work of harvest and the beginning of the feast. There seems to have been a feeling that it was bad luck to be the person to cut the last stand of corn; the farmer and his workers would race against the harvesters on other farms to be first to complete the harvest, shouting to announce they had finished. In some counties the last stand of corn would be cut by the workers throwing their sickles at it until it was all down, in others the reapers would take it
A farmers' market is a physical retail marketplace intended to sell foods directly by farmers to consumers. Farmers' markets may be indoors or outdoors and consist of booths, tables or stands where farmers sell fruits, meats and sometimes prepared foods and beverages. Farmers' markets reflect the local culture and economy; the size of the market may be just a few stalls or it may be as large as several city blocks. Due to their nature, they tend to be less rigidly regulated than retail produce shops, they are distinguished from public markets, which are housed in permanent structures, open year-round, offer a variety of non-farmer/non-producer vendors, packaged foods and non-food products. The current concept of a farmers' market is similar to past concepts, but different in relation to other forms – as aspects of consumer retailing, continue to shift over time. Similar forms existed before the Industrial age, but formed part of broader markets, where suppliers of food and other goods gathered to retail their wares.
Trading posts began a shift toward retailers. General stores and grocery stores continued that specialization trend in retailing, optimizing the consumer experience, while abstracting it further from production and from production's growing complexities. Modern industrial food production's advantages over prior methods depend on modern, fast transport and limited product variability, but transport costs and delays cannot be eliminated. So where distance strained industrial suppliers' reach, where consumers had strong preference for local variety, farmers' markets remained competitive with other forms of food retail. Starting in the mid-2000s, consumer demand for foods that are fresher and for foods with more variety—has led to growth of farmers' markets as a food-retailing mechanism. Farmers' markets can offer farmers increased profit over selling to wholesalers, food processors, or large grocery firms. By selling directly to consumers, produce needs less transport, less handling, less refrigeration and less time in storage.
By selling in an outdoor market, the cost of land, buildings and air-conditioning is reduced or eliminated. Farmers may retain profit on produce not sold to consumers, by selling the excess to canneries and other food-processing firms. At the market, farmers can retain the full premium for part of their produce, instead of only a processor's wholesale price for the entire lot. However, other economists say "there are few benefits in terms of energy efficiency, quality or cost... fun though they are, are not good economic models."Some farmers prefer the simplicity, immediacy and independence of selling direct to consumers. One method noted by the special interest group Food Empowerment Project promotes community-supported agriculture programs. In this scheme, consumers pay farms seasonally or monthly to receive weekly or biweekly boxes of produce. Alternatively, they may be required to pay for an entire season’s worth of produce in advance of the growing season. In either case, consumers risk losing their money.
Among the benefits touted for communities with farmers' markets: Farmers' markets help maintain important social ties, linking rural and urban populations and close neighbors in mutually rewarding exchange. Market traffic generates traffic for nearby businesses buying at markets encourages attention to the surrounding area and ongoing activities by providing outlets for'local' products, farmers' markets help create distinction and uniqueness, which can increase pride and encourage visitors to return. Reduced transport and refrigeration can benefit communities too: lower transport & refrigeration energy costs lower transport pollution lower transport infrastructure cost less land dedicated to food storageFarmers' markets may contribute to innovative distribution means that strengthen civic engagement by reducing the social distances between urban and rural communities. With fewer intermediaries, the support of independent growers by local community members can enhance local economic opportunities and health & wellness in poor communities.
Some consumers may favor farmers' markets for the perceived: reduced overhead: driving, etc. fresher foods seasonal foods healthier foods a better variety of foods, e.g.: organic foods, pasture-raised meats, free-range eggs and poultry, handmade farmstead cheeses, heirloom produce heritage breeds of meat and many less transport-immune cultivars disfavored by large grocers a place to meet neighbors, etc. A place to enjoy an outdoor walk while getting needed groceriesEvidence seems to show that overall prices at a typical farmers' market are lower than prices at a supermarket because the process of production is more concise. Due in part to the increased interest in healthier foods, a greater desire to preserve local cultivars or livestock and an increased understanding of the importance of maintaining small, sustainable farms on the fringe of urban environments, farmers' markets in the US have grown from 1,755 in 1994 to 4,385 in 2006, to 5,274 in 2009, to 8,144 in 2013. In New York City, there are 107 farmers' markets in operation.
In the Los Angeles area, 88 farmers' markets exist, many of which support Asian fare. In the U. S. all levels of government have provided funding to farmers' markets, for instance, through the federal programs, and. The programs subsidize purchases at farmers' markets by lo
Oracle bone script
Oracle bone script was the form of Chinese characters used on oracle bones—animal bones or turtle plastrons used in pyromantic divination—in the late 2nd millennium BCE, is the earliest known form of Chinese writing. The vast majority were found at the Yinxu site, they record pyromantic divinations of the last nine kings of the Shang dynasty, beginning with Wu Ding, whose accession is dated by different scholars at 1250 BCE or 1200 BCE. After the Shang were overthrown by the Zhou dynasty in c. 1046 BCE, divining with milfoil became more common, few oracle bone writings date from the early Zhou. The late Shang oracle bone writings, along with a few contemporary characters in a different style cast in bronzes, constitute the earliest significant corpus of Chinese writing, essential for the study of Chinese etymology, as Shang writing is directly ancestral to the modern Chinese script, it is the oldest known member and ancestor of the Chinese family of scripts, preceding the bronzeware script.
The common Chinese term for the script is jiǎgǔwén. It is an abbreviation of guījiǎ shòugǔ wénzì, which appeared in the 1930s as a translation of the English term "inscriptions upon bone and tortoise shell" first used by the American missionary Frank H. Chalfant in his 1906 book Early Chinese Writing. In earlier decades, Chinese authors used a variety of names for the inscriptions and the script, based on the place they were found, their purpose or the method of writing; as the majority of oracle bones bearing writing date from the late Shang dynasty, oracle bone script refers to a Shang script. It is certain that Shang-lineage writing underwent a period of development before the Anyang oracle bone script because of its mature nature. However, no significant quantity of identifiable writing from before or during the early to middle Shang cultural period has been discovered; the few Neolithic symbols found on pottery, jade, or bone at a variety of cultural sites in China are controversial, there is no consensus that any of them are directly related to the Shang oracle bone script.
The oracle bone script of the late Shang appears pictographic, as does its contemporary, the Shang writing on bronzes. The earliest oracle bone script appears more so than examples from late in the period. Comparing oracle bone script to both Shang and early Western Zhou period writing on bronzes, oracle bone script is greatly simplified, rounded forms are converted to rectilinear ones; the more detailed and more pictorial style of the bronze graphs is thus thought to be more representative of typical Shang writing than the oracle bone script forms, this typical style continued to evolve into the Zhou period writing and into the seal script of the Qin in the late Zhou period. It is known that the Shang people wrote with brush and ink, as brush-written graphs have been found on a small number of pottery and bone, jade and other stone items, there is evidence that they wrote on bamboo books just like those found from the late Zhou to Hàn periods, because the graphs for a writing brush and bamboo book are present in the oracle bone script.
Since the ease of writing with a brush is greater than that of writing with a stylus in wet clay, it is assumed that the style and structure of Shang graphs on bamboo were similar to those on bronzes, that the majority of writing occurred with a brush on such books. Additional support for this notion includes the reorientation of some graphs, by turning them 90 degrees as if to better fit on tall, narrow slats. Additionally, the writing of characters in vertical columns, from top to bottom, is for the most part carried over from the bamboo books to oracle bone inscriptions. In some instances lines are written horizontally so as to match the text to divinatory cracks, or columns of text rotate 90 degrees in mid stream, but these are exceptions to the normal pattern of writing, inscriptions were never read bottom to top; the vertical columns of text in Chinese writing are traditionally ordered from right to left. Oracle bone inscriptions, are arranged so that the columns begin near the centerline of the shell or bone, move toward the edge, such that the two sides are ordered in mirror-image fashion.
Despite the pictorial nature of the oracle bone script, it was a functional and mature writing system by the time of the Shang dynasty, i.e. able to record the Old Chinese language in its entirety and not just isolated kinds of meaning. This level of maturity implies an earlier period of development of at least several hundred years. From their presumed origins as pictographs and signs, by the Shang dynasty, most graphs were conventionalized in such a simplified fashion that the meanings of many of the pictographs are not apparent. Compare, for instance, the third and fourth graphs in the row below. Without careful research to compare these to forms, one would not know that t
A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as "a god or goddess". C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness, beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life". In the English language, a male deity is referred to as a god, while a female deity is referred to as a goddess. Religions can be categorized by. Monotheistic religions accept only one deity, polytheistic religions accept multiple deities. Henotheistic religions accept one supreme deity without denying other deities, considering them as aspects of the same divine principle. Although most monotheistic religions traditionally envision their God as omnipotent, omniscient and eternal, none of these qualities are essential to the definition of a "deity" and various cultures conceptualized their deities differently.
Monotheistic religions refer to God in masculine terms, while other religions refer to their deities in a variety of ways – masculine, feminine and without gender. Many ancient cultures – including the ancient Mesopotamians, Greeks and Norsemen– personified natural phenomena, variously as either deliberate causes or effects; some Avestan and Vedic deities were viewed as ethical concepts. In Indian religions, deities were envisioned as manifesting within the temple of every living being's body, as sensory organs and mind. Deities were envisioned as a form of existence after rebirth, for human beings who gain merit through an ethical life, where they become guardian deities and live blissfully in heaven, but are subject to death when their merit is lost; the English language word "deity" derives from Old French deité, the Latin deitatem or "divine nature", coined by Augustine of Hippo from deus. Deus is related through a common Proto-Indo-European origin to *deiwos; this root yields the ancient Indian word Deva meaning "to gleam, a shining one", from *div- "to shine", as well as Greek dios "divine" and Zeus.
Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea. In Old Persian, daiva- means "demon, evil god", while in Sanskrit it means the opposite, referring to the "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the linked term "god" refers to "supreme being, deity", according to Douglas Harper, is derived from Proto-Germanic *guthan, from PIE *ghut-, which means "that, invoked". Guth in the Irish language means "voice"; the term *ghut- is the source of Old Church Slavonic zovo, Sanskrit huta-, from the root *gheu-,An alternate etymology for the term "god" comes from the Proto-Germanic Gaut, which traces it to the PIE root *ghu-to-, derived from the root *gheu-. The term *gheu- is the source of the Greek khein "to pour"; the German root was a neuter noun. The gender of the monotheistic God shifted to masculine under the influence of Christianity. In contrast, all ancient Indo-European cultures and mythologies recognized both masculine and feminine deities.
There is no universally accepted consensus on what a deity is, concepts of deities vary across cultures. Huw Owen states that the term "deity or god or its equivalent in other languages" has a bewildering range of meanings and significance, it has ranged from "infinite transcendent being who created and lords over the universe", to a "finite entity or experience, with special significance or which evokes a special feeling", to "a concept in religious or philosophical context that relates to nature or magnified beings or a supra-mundane realm", to "numerous other usages". A deity is conceptualized as a supernatural or divine concept, manifesting in ideas and knowledge, in a form that combines excellence in some or all aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. In other cases, the deity is a principle or reality such as the idea of "soul"; the Upanishads of Hinduism, for example, characterize Atman as deva, thereby asserting that the deva and eternal supreme principle is part of every living creature, that this soul is spiritual and divine, that to realize self-knowledge is to know the supreme.
Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more deities. Polytheism is the belief in and worship of multiple deities, which are assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with accompanying rituals. In most polytheistic religions, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator God or transcendental absolute principle, which manifests immanently in nature. Henotheism accepts the existence of more than one deity, but considers all deities as equivalent representations or aspects of the same divine principle, the highest. Monolatry is the belief that many deities exist, but that only one of these deities may be validly worshipped. Monotheism is the belief. A monotheistic deity, known as "God", is u
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
Slash-and-burn agriculture called fire-fallow cultivation, is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest or woodland to create a field called a swidden. The method begins by cutting down the trees and woody plants in an area; the downed vegetation, or "slash", is left to dry right before the rainiest part of the year. The biomass is burned, resulting in a nutrient-rich layer of ash which makes the soil fertile, as well as temporarily eliminating weed and pest species. After about three to five years, the plot's productivity decreases due to depletion of nutrients along with weed and pest invasion, causing the farmers to abandon the field and move over to a new area; the time it takes for a swidden to recover depends on the location and can be as little as five years to more than twenty years, after which the plot can be slashed and burned again, repeating the cycle. In India, the practice is known as jhoom. Slash-and-burn can be part of shifting cultivation, an agricultural system in which farmers move from one cultivable area to another.
It may be part of transhumance, the moving of livestock between seasons. A rough estimate is. In 2004, it was estimated that in Brazil alone, 500,000 small farmers each cleared an average of one hectare of forest per year; the technique is not sustainable for large human populations. Methods such as Inga alley cropping and slash-and-char have been proposed as alternatives which would cause less environmental degradation. A similar term is assarting, the clearing of forests for the purpose of agriculture. Assarting does not include burning. Slash-and-burn cultivation has been practiced throughout much of the world, in grasslands as well as woodlands. During the Neolithic Revolution, which included agricultural advancements, groups of hunter-gatherers domesticated various plants and animals, permitting them to settle down and practice agriculture, which provides more nutrition per hectare than hunting and gathering; this happened in the river valleys of Mesopotamia. Due to this decrease in food from hunting, as human populations increased, agriculture became more important.
Some groups could plant their crops in open fields along river valleys, but others had forests blocking their farming land. In this context, humans used slash-and-burn agriculture to clear more land to make it suitable for plants and animals. Thus, since Neolithic times, slash-and-burn techniques have been used for converting forests into crop fields and pasture. Fire was used before the Neolithic as well, by hunter-gatherers up to present times. Clearings created by the fire were made for many reasons, such as to draw game animals and to promote certain kinds of edible plants such as berries. Slash-and-burn fields are used and owned by a family until the soil is exhausted. At this point the ownership rights are abandoned, the family clears a new field, trees and shrubs are permitted to grow on the former field. After a few decades, another family or clan may use the land and claim usufructuary rights. In such a system there is no market in farmland, so land is not bought or sold on the open market and land rights are traditional.
In slash-and-burn agriculture, forests are cut months before a dry season. The "slash" is permitted to dry and burned in the following dry season; the resulting ash fertilizes the soil and the burned field is planted at the beginning of the next rainy season with crops such as upland rice, cassava, or other staples. Most of this work is done by hand, using such basic tools such as machetes, axes and makeshift shovels; the old American civilizations, like the Inca and Aztecs used this old agricultural technique. Large families or clans wandering in the lush woodlands long continued to be the most common form of society through human prehistory. Axes to fell trees and sickles for harvesting grain were the only tools people might bring with them. All other tools were made from materials they found at the site, such as fire stakes of birch, long rods, harrows made of spruce tops; the extended family conquered the lush virgin forest and cultivated their selected swidden plots, sowed one or more crops, proceeded on to forests, noted in their wanderings.
In the temperate zone, the forest regenerated in the course of a lifetime. So swidden was repeated several times in the same area over the years, but in the tropics the forest floor depleted. It was not only in the moors, as in Northern Europe, but in the steppe, prairie and barren desert in tropical areas where shifting cultivation is the oldest type of farming. Cultivation is similar to slash-and-burn.. Southern European Mediterranean climates have favored evergreen and deciduous forests. With slash-and-burn agriculture, this type of forest was less able to regenerate than those north of the Alps. Although in northern Europe one crop was harvested before grass was allowed to grow, in southern Europe it was more common to exhaust the soil by farming it for several years. Classical authors mentioned large forests, with Homer writing about "wooded Samothrace," Zakynthos and other woodlands; these authors indicated. Although parts of Europe aside from the north remained wooded, by the Roman Iron and early Viking Ages, forests were drastically reduced and settlements moved.
The reasons for this pattern of mobility, the transition to stable