The Tinguian eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 351 pages of information about The Tinguian.
the blanket, and finally to take refuge under the stones piled upon it.  When the blanket is reached, the men seize the corners and lift it out of the water on to the bank, where the stones are thrown out and the fish secured.  A somewhat similar idea is found in the lama.  Quantities of leaf branches are sunk into a still pool, and are left for a few days until the fish have come to use them as a hiding-place.  A number of men make a close fence of bamboo sticks about them, then go inside, throw out the branches, and catch the fish with their hands or with the nets.  Streams are often diverted from their course, for a time, and then returned, leaving the fish in the artificial channels stranded.

A curious method of fishing was seen in the Ikmin river.  A hook was fastened in the end of a bamboo pole, and close to this a minnow was attached to a short line, to act as a lure.  When the other fish approached the captive, the pole was jerked sharply, in an attempt to snag them.  On one occasion the writer saw fifty fish taken by this method in less than an hour.

Short lines attached to sticks are often baited, and are set along the embankments of the flooded rice-fields.  Small fish spears with detachable heads are also used in the rice lands, as well as in the clear pools.  The only occasion when the bow and arrow is used in this region is when the rice fields are flooded.  At such times a short bow and an arrow with fork-shaped head are employed (Fig. 13, Nos. 3-3a).  A fish poison or stupifier is occasionally used.  A small red berry known as baiyatin is crushed, and the powder is thrown into or just above quiet pools, where fish abound.  Some of the fish become stupified and float on the surface, where they are quickly speared or scooped up.  They are eaten without any ill effects.

CHAPTER VIII

ECONOMIC LIFE

Rice Culture.—­The most important crop raised by the Tinguian is rice, and to its cultivation he devotes a considerable portion of his time.  Two distinct methods of growing are now found throughout the district—­the mountain or upland fields, in which the rice is raised without irrigation; and the rice terraces with irrigation [187] (Plate XLVIII).  To prepare the first type of field, a piece of forest land is chosen if possible, or lacking this, a plot covered with second growth is selected.  The purpose in using timber land is to escape the cogon grass (Imperata koenigii), which quickly invades all open fields, and flourishes until the trees again shut out the sunlight.  The trees and underbrush are cut down during the dry season, so that they may be ready for burning before the arrival of the first rains.  Should no timber land be available, an open piece will be selected, and after the grass is burned, the soil will be partially cleared of its stubborn roots by means of a large knife or adze-like instrument known as pal’lek (Fig. 14, No. 2).

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The Tinguian from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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