Juhm Farming in Nagaland   Sustainable slash and burn  agriculture in North East India   All photos © Julian Swindell
Nagaland, NE Indian state
Kohima, Capital of Nagaland
Kohima War Cemetery
Nagaland is intensely tribal
Quite tough tribes…
Angouli, from the Angami tribe
Hekani, from the Suomi tribe (with a “European”)
Kohnoma, home village of the Angami
Angouli at the very edge ofthe British Empire
All firewood is moved on footin back baskets
Traditional clothing is based on warm, woollenshawls, woven on back-strap looms
The valley is intensively cultivated in terraces
Smaller “market garden” terraces run up to the village itself
Villagers can be in the fields in minutes
Potatoes, corn, beans and over 20 varieties of rice
There are no written histories and all constructions are saidto be “about one hundred years old. They are clearly ancient.
Flooded terraces are used for rice at low level andfish farming at higher levels
Crops are planted and managed by hand and rotated
Towards the top of the terracing, things start tolook different. Notice all the trees
Juhm shifting farming, based on Nepalese alder trees
The trees are pollarded, traditionally on an eight yearRotation. Branches are used for firewood and building
The trees are not cut down. After each pollarding, waste woodis burnt and ash spread around trees, and crops planted.
These trees show about one year’s growth, and the land aroundis still being cropped.
After two years of cropping, the land and trees areleft to regenerate for another six years.
After four years it looks like completely abandonedfarm land, but it is actually under a careful management system
The Angami valley is unique in Nagaland. In all other tribes, nearlyall of the trees have been cleared and the land farmed...
The Juhm system extends beyond the terraces, upthe open valley sides
Farming on the hillsides is not as easy or asproductive as in the terraces.
Where undergrowth is cleared on hillsides, steps aretaken to stop open soil erosion.
Livestock, semi-wild cattle, are confined to the hillsides above thearable fields. They are brought into the village for s...
Kohima market is not for the faint hearted, (such as me)These eels come from the terraced fields. I didn’t ask where thewr...
But do go to Nagaland, it is wonderful and welcoming. But note,If two of you want to go together, you do have to be married!
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Juhm farming in nagaland1

  1. 1. Juhm Farming in Nagaland Sustainable slash and burn agriculture in North East India All photos © Julian Swindell
  2. 2. Nagaland, NE Indian state
  3. 3. Kohima, Capital of Nagaland
  4. 4. Kohima War Cemetery
  5. 5. Nagaland is intensely tribal
  6. 6. Quite tough tribes…
  7. 7. Angouli, from the Angami tribe
  8. 8. Hekani, from the Suomi tribe (with a “European”)
  9. 9. Kohnoma, home village of the Angami
  10. 10. Angouli at the very edge ofthe British Empire
  11. 11. All firewood is moved on footin back baskets
  12. 12. Traditional clothing is based on warm, woollenshawls, woven on back-strap looms
  13. 13. The valley is intensively cultivated in terraces
  14. 14. Smaller “market garden” terraces run up to the village itself
  15. 15. Villagers can be in the fields in minutes
  16. 16. Potatoes, corn, beans and over 20 varieties of rice
  17. 17. There are no written histories and all constructions are saidto be “about one hundred years old. They are clearly ancient.
  18. 18. Flooded terraces are used for rice at low level andfish farming at higher levels
  19. 19. Crops are planted and managed by hand and rotated
  20. 20. Towards the top of the terracing, things start tolook different. Notice all the trees
  21. 21. Juhm shifting farming, based on Nepalese alder trees
  22. 22. The trees are pollarded, traditionally on an eight yearRotation. Branches are used for firewood and building
  23. 23. The trees are not cut down. After each pollarding, waste woodis burnt and ash spread around trees, and crops planted.
  24. 24. These trees show about one year’s growth, and the land aroundis still being cropped.
  25. 25. After two years of cropping, the land and trees areleft to regenerate for another six years.
  26. 26. After four years it looks like completely abandonedfarm land, but it is actually under a careful management system
  27. 27. The Angami valley is unique in Nagaland. In all other tribes, nearlyall of the trees have been cleared and the land farmed conventionally
  28. 28. The Juhm system extends beyond the terraces, upthe open valley sides
  29. 29. Farming on the hillsides is not as easy or asproductive as in the terraces.
  30. 30. Where undergrowth is cleared on hillsides, steps aretaken to stop open soil erosion.
  31. 31. Livestock, semi-wild cattle, are confined to the hillsides above thearable fields. They are brought into the village for slaughter. Everyhousehold also has a pig. Nagas eat anything that moves…
  32. 32. Kohima market is not for the faint hearted, (such as me)These eels come from the terraced fields. I didn’t ask where thewriggly black things with a million little legs came from
  33. 33. But do go to Nagaland, it is wonderful and welcoming. But note,If two of you want to go together, you do have to be married!

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