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Wooden harrow








The major traditional livelihoods of the Amis tribe were agriculture, hunting, fishing, gathering and animal husbandry. Among them, agriculture was the most important. Slash-and-burn cultivation was the major cultivation method. However, as much of the land that they inhabited was flat and due to their early interaction with  non-indigenous farmers, the Amis began to incorporate irrigation and paddy rice cultivation methods. The harrow, made from wood or bamboo, was used to loosen the topsoil for the planting of crops.

This type of harrow was mostly made from camphor wood or Phoebe wood, which was shaped into the different parts of the harrow and assembled. It resembles the traditional Han Chinese plow. The comb like part was made of wood or sharpened bamboo.

Production methods
The production of farm tools was men’s work. Wood was the main material used. Bamboo was used as a substitute when necessary. Tools used to shape the wood included axes, paring knives, planer tools, chisels, awls, and saws. The parts of the harrow were cut and shaped and then assembled, or sharpened and cut bamboo were used to produce a bamboo harrow.

Before seeding, an ox-driven wooden harrow (called “kakara” in the Amis language) was used to turn the topsoilfive or six times. Then, the soil was allowed adequate exposure to sunshine before seeding began.

National Museum of Natural Science