Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Anatomy of a Peasant Economy

I found this while doing research on fiefs. I've been trying to decide upon a reasonable fief size. So I've been looking at feudal Japan and the fiefs - called han - during the Edo era and earlier. I stumbled upon this research paper: "Anatomy of a Peasant Economy - a Rice Village in the Philippines" while doing this research. 

This paper dates from 1978 and looks at a typical rice village in Laguna province of the Philippines. There is a nice map of the village and very good statistical information on the number of families and, of course, crop yields, planting seasons and the like. 

I think this could be a good example of what a typical village in the Mssúma delta might look like. The barrio is one of thirteen in the municipality of Pila. It is a relatively small village with only 95 households and a population of 549 (in 1974.) The households are divided between farmers (large and small) and landless workers. There are 54 of the former and 41 of the latter.

My thinking is that a similar Tsolyáni village - say one of those surrounding the village of Nisuél - might be of similar size, or perhaps slightly larger. Larger would be better, actually, as this takes up a really small patch of land and if all villages were this size then I have a lot more to draw! This village only covers a couple of hectares and the delta contains over 78,000 hectares! Some of that is lost to rivers, lakes and streams, marshes, secondary roads and footpaths, irrigation and transportation canals, the villages themselves, forested areas and orchards. It is still a lot of area...

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