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Sunday, January 13, 2013


The ancient carvings of Borobudur (circa 9th century AD), Java depict millet but not rice. Rice seems to have been introduced to Java by sea from India during the later period of Hindu influence. Rice appears to have been introduced to Java perhaps before the establishment of the Majapahit Kingdom in the 13th century.

From Java,  rice planting spread gradually to the southern Malay peninsula. However, the northern part Malaya, Kedah and Perlis, seem to have adopted wet-rice cultivation somewhat earlier, from the mainland Southeast Asia via Southern Thailand. In the early times wet-rice cultivation flourished in the Songkla region which probably had trade relations with the Cambodian state of Funan.

Early rice development in Malaysia, 1800-1920 - the rice you eat you may not forget (the colonials!):

Anon. 1906. Opening of the Krian irrigation canal. Agr Bull Straits FMS 5:283-6

Arden S. 1903. Encouragement of agriculture among the natives. Agr Bull Straits FMS 2:399-402 (with comments by Ridley HN, 402-5)

Balestier J. 1848. View of the state of agriculture in the British possessions in the Straits of Malacca. J Indian Archipel 2(1):139-50

Barbe. 1850. Agriculture of the Mintra. JIAEA 5:487-8

Barrit NW. 1912a. Rice crop in Malaya. MAJ 1(4), 161
1912b. Report on the field experiments, Kuala Kangsar 1912-13. MAJ 1(9), 317
1912c. Economics of padi planting. MAJ 1(12), 443

Bateson E. 1912a. Padi experiments in Krian. MAJ 1(2),5
1912b. Padi cultivation in Siam. MAJ 1(4), 147
1912c. Padi cultivation in Siam. MAJ 1(5), 197
1913. Padi experiments in Krian. MAJ 2(5), 113
1918. Padi cultivation in North Borneo. Agric Dept Bull No 2, Jesselton

Baumgarten FL. 1849. Agriculture in Malacca. J Indian Archipel 3:707-21

Blagden, C Oho. Early Indo-Chinese influence in the Malay Peninsula. JSBRAS 27:33 (influence of plant vocabularies)
1897. An account of the cultivation of rice in Malacca. JSBRAS 30:286-304 (Romanized by Muhammad Ja’far, tr by C.O.B.)

Brewster EJ. 1896. Report of inspection of the Lower Perak District by the District Magistrate. PGG 9:395-8

Buckland AW. Primitive agriculture. J Roy Anthropological Inst Grt Britain and Ireland 7:2-19

Burkill IH. 1917. The food-crops of the Malay Peninsula and some thoughts arising out of a review of them. Proc 1st Agric Conf Malaya, Kuala Lumpur pp138-53
Clayton RJB. 1919. A memorandum on rice supplies. Agric Bull FMS 7(1):15-27

Clifford H. 1897. A journey through the Malay states of Terengganu and Kelantan. Geog J 9(1):1-37

Coombs GE and Grist DH . 1917. Field experiments with rice. Agric Bull FMS 6(3):159-61

Day FWF. 1918. The water hyacinth as a source of potash. Agric Bull FMS 6(7&8):299-314

Favre P. 1849a. A journey in Johore. JIA 3:50-64
1849b. A journey in the Minangkabau States of the Malay Peninsula. JIA 3:153-61

Gallagher WJ. 1908. Extermination of rats. Agric Bull SS & FMS 7, 522 1909a. Virus remedy against rats. Agric Bull SS & FMS 7, 4
1909b. The extermination of rats in rice-fileds. Agric Bull SS & FMS Special Bull No 5

Graham WA. 1908. Kelantan a State of the Malay Peninsula. Glasgow
1911. Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah, Perlis. Encycl Britannica, 11th edn 17:482-3

Hose ES. 1919. Memorandum on the figures of Malay population in the F.M.S. in relation to padi cultivation. Agric Bull FMS 7(5):320-2

Jack HW. 1919. Experiments with wet rice in Krian. MAJ 8(5)
1920. Notes on harvesting padi and its conversion into rice. Agric Bull FMS 8(1):1-5

Leith G, Sir. 1804. A Short Account of the Settlement, Produce, and Commerce of Prince of Wales Island in the Straits of Malacca. London

Lewton-Brain L. 1911. Padi experiments in Krian. Agric Bull SS & FMS 10, 322
1913. Agriculture in Malaya in 1912. Dept Agric FMS, Kuala Lumpur

Low J. 1836. A Dissertation on the Soil and Agriculture of the British Settlement of Penang or Prince of Wales Island in the Straits of Malacca including Province Wellesley on the Malayan Peninsula …, with … Incidental Observations, etc. Singapore Free Press, Singapore; reprinted as the British Settlement at Penang, Oxford Univ Press, Singapore

Maxwell WE. 1884. The laws and customs of the Malays with reference to the tenure of land. JSBRAS 13:75-220

Mohamed Yusope Mohamed Shariff. 1920. Some insect pests of padi. MAJ 8(3), 187

Morris, Margaretta. 1904. War, agriculture, and religion of the Kayans and the Sea Dyak. Amer Oriental Soc J 25:231-47

Muhammed Ja’afar. 1897a. Darihal Pekerja’an (sic) bersawah di Melaka. JSBRAS 30:285-304 (with a translation into English by Blagden CO)

O’Sullivan AW. 1886. Ceremonies at seedtime. JMBRAS 18:362-5

Pears F. 1901. On the cultivation of rice as a catch crop. Agic Bull Straits FMS 1:391-2

Penney FG. 1881. Some notes upon agriculture in the Settlement of Penang. SSGG 1881:614-6 Pinang Gazette and Straits Chronicle.
1869. Paddy cultivation in Penang. 18 Sept 1869

Pratt, Harry Charles. 1909a. Padi pests. Agric Bull SS & FMS 8, 426 1909b. Report of Government Entomologist for the year 1908. Agric Bull SS & FMS No 8
1911. Padi cultivation in Kerian. Agric Bull SS & FMS Special Bull No 12 19pp
1912. General notes concerning locusts. MAJ 1(12), 428
1913. Locust pest in Malaya. A short survey and a brief description of its life history. MAJ 2(4), 76

Pratt HC and South FW 1913. Progress report on locust work since June, 1913. MAJ 2(3), 53
_____ and Norris FM de la. 1915. The Malayan locust. Agric Bull FMS No 24

Raja Mahmud Raja Ali. 1920a. Summary of padi returns, Federated Malay States and Straits Settlements and the Non-Federated Malay States for season 1919-1920. Agric Bull Straits FMS 8(2):154-5
1920b. Padi varieties and padi breeding. MAJ 8(3), 164

Rajah Bot bin Raja Jumaat. 1902. Translation of a letter by Raja Bot giving his view on the subject of extending the area of rice cultivation to Sultan of Selangor & Resident-General letter FMS, 22.8. 1902, typescript, CO 273/284 (publ Letter on rice. Agric Bull SS & FMS 1, 582-6), reprinted in Peninjau Sejarah 1(2), 1966

Ridley HN. 1905. The history and development of agriculture in the Malay Peninsula. Agric. Bull. S.S. & F.M.S. 4, 296

Shaw GE. 1911. Papers on Malay subjects: Malay industries, pt 3, Rice Planting. FMS Govt Press, Kuala Lumpur. Reprinted 1926

Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. 1864. Penang rice and coffee growing. 15 Sept 1864
1892. Penang padi cultivation and the state’s resources. 23 Feb 1892 Skinner CJ.
1884. Statement shewing the result of padi harvest in various districts of the Settlement of Penang. SSGG 1884:903

South FW. 1913a. Draft Water Hyacinth Extermination Enactment in Kedah. Agric Bull FMS 2(2), 46
1913, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918. Report on work on locust destruction. Agric Bull FMS (in various volumes)
1913. Agricultural Pests Enactment No. 13 of 1913. Agric Bull FMS 2(8, 9):203, 220
1914. Enactment to amend “The Agricultural Pests Enactment,” 1913. Agric Bull FMS 3(8), 297
1916-17. Application of the Agricultural Pests Enactment. Agric Bull FMS 5(8, 9), 349

Spring, F.G. and Milsum, J.N. 1918. Cultivation of foodstuffs. Agric. Bull. F.M.S. 6(9):361-73
_____ and _____ . 1919c. Food production in Malaya. Agric. Bull. F.M.S. No. 30

Syed Abdul Rahman. 1906. Opening of the Krian Irrigation Canal. Agric Bull Straits & FMS 5:283-6
1920. Padi cultivation in Pahang. MAJ 8(3):176-8

Uda Samsudin. 1920. Method of controlling rats in rice fields. Agr Bull FMS 8:176-8

Vincent C. 1894. Report on the Krian Irrigation Scheme. Taiping

Wintedt, Richard O. 1917a. The Malay rice cycle. JSBRAS no 75 p51
1917b. A rice ceremony. JSBRAS no 77 p249
( ). Sacrifice at communal rice ceremonies. JMBRAS 3(2):13
1920a. Rice ceremonies in Negeri Sembilan. J Fed Malay States vol9 no 2 pp122-8
1920b. Rice ceremonies in Upper Perak. J Fed Malay States Mus vol 9 pt 2 pp116-21
1929a. The ritual of the rice-field. JMBRAS 7(3) :437-47
1929b. The ritual of the rice-field. JMBRAS 7(3):437-47

Wise DH. 1901. Report on the System of Rice Cultivation practised in Pahang. Printed paper in Ag B.R. Pahang to Res Gen FMS 16.5.1901 (also Cultivation of rice in Pahang. Agric Bull SS & FMS 1:13-9)

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