Black Rice - Montclair State University

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Black Rice
Week 11
Lecture 01
An African Contribution to American
Agriculture
This lecture was last updated on 28 December, 2014
This lecture was last updated on 13 December, 2014
This lecture was last updated 03 November, 2013
Black Rice
This week’s lecture is based primarily on the
reading for the week:
Carney, Judith A. 2001. Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice
Cultivation in the Americas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press.
Additional information was gathered from
the sources shown on the next three slides
Black Rice: Additional Sources
Burling., Robbins. 1965. Hill Farms and Paddy Fields: Life in Mainland
Southeast Asia. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. P. 30.
Chrispeels, Maarten J., and David Sadava. 1977. Plants, Food, and People.
San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company. P. 19. Details of the nutritonal
quality of rice appear in Kennedy, Barbara M. 1980. Nutritional Quiality of
Rice Endosperm. In Luh, Bor S. editor, Rice: Production and Utilization.
Westport Conn: Avi Publishing Company, Inc. Pp. 439-69.
De Datta, Surajit K. 1981. Principles and Practices of Rice Production. New
York: John Wiley and Sons. P. 505.
Gallais, Jean. 1967. Le Delta Intérieur du Niger: Etude de Géographie
Régionale,. 2 vols. Dakar: Institut Fondamental de l’Afrique Noir. Vol. 1, p.
99. Gallais cites the research of French agronomist Pierre Viguier, who worked
in the area in the 1930s.
Black Rice: Additional Sources
Hanks, Lucien. 1972. Rice and Man: Agricultural Ecology in Southeast Asia.
New York: Aldine. P. 16.
Hess, Karen. 1992. The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection.
Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press.
Humphreys, Charles P., and Patricia L. Rader. 1981. Rice Policy in the Ivory
Coast. In Pearson, Scott R., J. Dirck Stryker, and Charles P. Humphreys,
editors, Rice in West Africa: Policy and Economics. Stanford: Stanford
University Press. P. 22.
Kittler, Pamela Goyan, and Kathryn P. Sucher. 1998. Food and Culture in
America: A Nutrition Handbook. Belmont, Calif: West/Wadsworth. Second
edition. Pp.233-34.
Linares, Olga F. 2002. African rice (Oryza glaberrima): History and future
potential. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99(25):1636016365. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.252604599.
Black Rice: Additional Sources
McIntire, John. 1981. Rice Production in Mali. In Pearson, Scott R., J. Dirck Stryker, and
Charles P. Humphreys, editors, Rice in West Africa: Policy and Economics. Stanford:
Stanford University Press. P. 333.
Oka, H. I. 1988, Origin of Cultivated Rice. New York: Elsevier and Japan Scientific
Societies Press. Pp. 199-205.
Pearson, Scott R., J. Dirck Stryker, and Charles P. Humphreys. 1981. Introduction. In
Pearson, Scott R., J. Dirck Stryker, and Charles P. Humphreys, editors, Rice in West
Africa: Policy and Economics. Stanford: Stanford University Press. P. 1.
Richards, Paul. 1986. Coping with Hunger: Hazard and Experiment in an African RiceFarming System. London: Allen and Unwin. Pp. 148-49 and 154.
Bilger, Richard. 2011. True Grits: In Charleston a Quest to Revive Authentic Southern
Cooking. The New Yorker October 31, 2011: 40 et seq.
Black Rice: Additional Sources
A few additional sources are given
on the slide where the information
appears.
Montclair State University Department of Anthropology
Anth 140: Non Western Contributions to the Western World
Dr. Richard W. Franke
Black Rice:
The learning objectives for week 11 part 01
are:
– to understand the latest discovery of African contributions to
America: African rice and rice production practices
– to appreciate the significance of African rice production skills in
facilitating economic growth in colonial America
– to understand the main facts about the slave trade as they help
to understand African contributions to the Americas
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Montclair State University Department of Anthropology
Anth 140: Non Western Contributions to the Western World
Dr. Richard W. Franke
Black Rice
Terms you should know for week 11 part 01 are:
– Carolina Rice
– Middle passage
– Hanging dike
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Rice
 The single most important food grain in the
world
 Providing half the calories to one-third of the
world’s people in 2002
Source: The New York Times 5 April 2002
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Advantages of Rice
 Can grow on almost any type of soil
 Is one of the most nutritious foods with
*carbohydrates
*iron
*vitamin B
*7% protein (8% for brown rice)
*niacin
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Advantages of Rice
In the make-up of its protein content, rice is
even more valuable than the percent figure
suggests. Using the hen’s egg as a protein
score of 100 means that the protein contains
the amino acids the human body cannot
synthesize in almost exactly the correct
proportions.
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Advantages of Rice
Potatoes have a protein score of 34, beans 44,
corn 49, wheat 62, and soybeans 67. Rice has
a score of 69, with a near perfect proportion
of leucine and good proportions of
tryptophan and valine.
Sources: Chrispeels, Maarten J., and David Sadava. 1977. Plants, Food, and People. San
Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company. P. 19. Details of the nutritional quality of rice
appear in Kennedy, Barbara M. 1980. Nutritional Quality of Rice Endosperm. In Luh, Bor
S. editor, Rice: Production and Utilization. Westport Conn: Avi Publishing Company, Inc.
Pp. 439-69.
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How Rice Grows
 Cell structure of the roots has wide canals,
which allow the plant to take in oxygen and
nutrients from water.
 Thus, flooding of the young plants can
greatly increase the output of rice.
 “The capacity of most [flooded] terraces to
respond to loving care is amazing.”
Source: Clifford Geertz. 1963. Agricultural Involution. Berkeley: University of California
Press. P. 35
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How Rice Grows
 Seeds grow from the top of the shaft, unlike
wheat and corn that grow from the side.
 At harvest, each plant has 5 or more ribs
radiating out in a fan shape.
Source: Hanks, Lucien. 1972. Rice and Man: Agricultural Ecology in Southeast Asia. New
York: Aldine. P. 16.
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How Rice Grows
 The thin tropical soils are compensated for
by the nutrients brought in by the irrigation
water.
 Blue-green algae in the warm water help the
rice plants fix nitrogen.
 The gentle movement of the water in the
paddy field aerates the rice plants.
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Growing Rice: The 7 Steps
 Clearing, Repairing Terraces and Dikes
 Plowing: turning the soil
 Smoothing and flooding: “The soil is pulverized and soaked
until it becomes a mire of heavy mud.” (Robbins Burling)
 Planting then Transplanting
 Weeding, Fertilizing, Pesticides
 Draining
 Harvesting
Source: Robbins Burling. 1965. Hill Farms and Paddy Fields: Life in Mainland Southeast Asia. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice-Hall. P. 30.
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Repairing the Dikes
can be back-breaking
work as this Javanese
rice farmer shows.
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Repairing the Dikes
often continues through
the flooding and even
planting periods,
creating the hard work
that this Indian farm
laborer needs to
survive.
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Asian Rice Terraces
In parts of
China, India,
Japan,
Vietnam, the
Philippines, as
on this
Javanese
hillside
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Asian Rice Terraces
farmers making dikes have also carved out
spectacular terraces to limit erosion, make
the slopes flat, and bring additional land
under cultivation.
Outsiders have marveled at the skill of the
farmers and the beauty of the fields.
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Asian Rice Terraces
The Southeast Asian terraces in the previous
slide show why.
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Plowing
can also be heavy
labor as shown by
this Indian farmer
as he prepares the
soil for the first
rains with the
help of two oxen.
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Smoothing and Flooding
is the heaviest
work, even with
the help of the
stalwart
Javanese water
buffaloes.
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Smoothing and Flooding
These Indian farmers
work together to
prepare the field for
the young rice plants
that will be inserted
into the mud by
women laborers.
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Forty Days after Planting
the seedlings
are pulled up
and
transplanted at
precisely 25
centimeters
intervals to give
the best root
growth.
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Transplanting
Today this is
known as
the
“Japanese
Method,”
and is
practiced
throughout
Asia.
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Transplanting…
is done throughout Asia by
women and is some of the
hardest labor, requiring
bending over for hours to
shove the seedlings into the
mud. Just taking a step
backwards is hard work in
the thick goo of the padi
field.
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Harvesting
takes place about 90
days after transplanting
and requires the
backbreaking work of
women throughout
Asia.
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Harvesting
Like the woman
in the previous
slide, these
Indian farm
laborers cut the
rice plants one
by one to
maximize output
per unit of land.
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Is Followed by Binding
up the rice in bundles
to carry to the
landowner’s house
where the (in this case)
Javanese landlord’s
rice will be dried and
threshed.
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Carrying
can also be a
formidable task, at
least in this Indian
village.
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Preparing Rice
After harvest, the rice must be
 Dried
 Threshed, to remove the grains from the
stalks,
 Pounded, to break the husk off the grain
 Winnowed, to separate the chaff from the
grain
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Threshing can be
done as hand
pounding or with
the feet, rolling the
rice seeds back and
forth under the
weight of one’s
body.
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Preparing Rice
 Some cultures cook the rice once while still
in the husk.
 This is called “parboiling.”
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Preparing Rice
Parboiling increases the nutritional value of
rice because some of the vitamins in the seed
coat penetrate into the kernel. The losses
from polishing are reduced. Parboiling also
makes the seeds less brittle so fewer of them
crack during milling.
Source: Borgstrom, Georg. 1973. Harvesting the Earth. New York: Abelard-Schuman. P. 119.
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Preparing Rice
 Rice can be eaten with some of the inner
husk left (brown rice), or
 Rice can be polished to a pure white.
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There Are Many Types of Rice
with Many Flavors and Textures
Thousands of varieties worldwide





Jasmine
Basmati
Brown
Red
Sticky Sweet, etc.
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Eating Rice
The classic Western
vision of rice is the
Chinese rice bowl,
awaiting the
chopsticks.
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Eating Rice
Rice is the central food
around which Chinese
meals are constructed.
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Eating Rice
In South
India rice
is steamed
with
coconut
and sugar
to make a
popular
breakfast.
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Eating Rice
Another
breakfast
item is rice
cakes with
a spicy
vegetable
sauce
called
“sambar.”
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Origins of Rice
Rice farming probably originated in
China, perhaps over 4,000 years ago. In
a study of Asian agriculture published
in 1911, Franklin Hiram King called the
Chinese people the “farmers of 40
centuries.”
King, Franklin Hiram. 1911. Farmers of Forty Centuries, or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan. Madison,
Wis: Mrs. F. H. King. Republished in 1973 by Rodale Press.
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Origins of Rice
For centuries, Western scientists and
observers have assumed the Chinese and
other Asian varieties were the only source for
all the world’s domesticated rice.
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Origins of Rice
The Asian rice is known as Oryza sativa, and
was long considered the species from which
all modern rice varieties descended.
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New Evidence on Rice
In 2001, Judith Carney’s
book brought together
evidence showing that
an African rice variety
was independently
domesticated hundreds
of years ago.
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African Rice
In the 19th Century
French botanists
working in West Africa
began describing a
kind of rice that
differed significantly
from Oryza sativa.
In 1914, French
botanist August
Chevalier formally
advanced the
hypothesis of an
indigenous African
rice.
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African Rice
By the 1970s scientists had reached
agreement on the existence of African rice,
now named Oryza glaberrima, (smooth husk
rice), the term suggested by German botanist
Ernst Steudel in 1855 while examining some
of the French samples.
Carney, Judith A. 2001. Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Page 35.
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African Rice
Thus, it now appears that of the 20 species of
rice that grow wild on earth, two were
domesticated:
Oryza sativa in Asia 7,000 years ago, and
Oryza glaberrima in West Africa, date
unknown
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African Rice
Karen Hess (1992:13)
cites research
indicating that African
domesticated rice has
been cultivated since
at least 1,500 BCE.
This slide was added
23 January 2012
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What’s the Importance?
Our knowledge of a separate African
domestication of rice helps solve many
historical problems, such as why many
African peoples use European words for rice,
but others such as the Mandinka and Wolof
have original words of non-European origin.
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What’s the Importance?
It also helps explain why some Arab and
Italian travelers to Africa mentioned the
presence of large amounts of rice in Jenne,
Gao, and Timbuktu in the great inland Niger
River Delta region many years before the
Portuguese brought Oryza sativa from Asia
in the late 15th Century.
Source: Carney, page 43
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What’s the Importance?
But the greatest importance of this finding is
that we now have strong reasons to believe
that African slaves brought the knowledge
and skills from their African homeland to
create the first great commercial crop of the
New World: Carolina Rice.
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Rice in North America
Many people are
familiar with Carolina
brand rice. Fewer
realize that rice from
Georgia and South
Carolina was a major
crop that sold in the
markets of Europe
from as early as 1690.
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Rice in North America
The association of
Black people with
white rice in the
supermarket results
from a Texas
company’s marketing
strategy many years
ago.
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Rice in North America
An African-American
rice farmer in Texas
named “Ben” gained a
regional reputation for
his skill and the high
quality of his rice.
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What’s the Importance?
For centuries European and North American
observers have presumed that Carolina rice was
Oryza sativa, brought from Asia by Portuguese
traders, and grown under the supervision of brilliant
white managers who instantly designed irrigation
and planting techniques that adapted Asian rice to
the special conditions of Georgia and South
Carolina.
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What’s the Importance?
But Judith Carney’s careful
and innovative historical
research suggests that it was
slaves from the riceproducing areas of West
Africa who created the
sophisticated irrigation and
drainage systems found in
Georgia and South Carolina.
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What’s the Importance?
These systems resemble
those found in West
Africa in remarkable
detail and do not look
like the Asian irrigation
works.
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What’s the Importance?
The Europeans of the
time had no knowledge
of irrigated rice
agriculture. And—their
planting and water
management techniques
differed significantly
from those of their
African slaves.
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What’s the Importance?
Instead, we should look to the traditional
knowledge of West African rice farmers for the
basis of Carolina rice.
They were the only expert farmers present at the
creation of the sluices, canals, drainage works,
plugs, and other devices used in North American
rice farming in the period from the 1690s to 1776
when Carolina rice became a major export crop to
Europe.
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African Rice Origins
African
peoples
developed
three
different
systems for
growing
Oryza
glaberrima
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African Rice Origins
1. Highland
2.Freshwater
Floodplain
3. Mangrove
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African Rice Origins
Each
system
was finetuned to
specific
environmental
conditions.
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Highland Rice in America
In the mid 1700s Thomas Jefferson
attempted dry upland rice production in
Virginia. He used slave labor, but we do not
know if the slaves came from the rice
producing areas of West Africa. The project
failed commercially.
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Slave Trade Basics
Let us consider for a few moments the
basic facts about the slave trade.
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Slave Trade Basics: Updated 2011
Thanks to the Trans-Atlantic Slave
Trade Data Base recently created and
online free at:
http://slavevoyages.org/
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Slave Trade Basics: Updated 2011
We now have detailed facts about what
actually happened during the slave
trade.
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Slave Trade Basics: Updated
2011
 From 1514 to 1866 35,000 slave ship voyages
carried 12.5 million people from Africa to the New
World as slaves.
 Around 10.7 million arrived alive; the other 1.8
million died on the way, on what African
Americans call the “Middle Passage.”
 By 1850, one-third of all Africans were living
outside Africa as slaves.
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Slave Trade Basics
The slaves were brought to –
 North
America 7% (USA 5%)
 The Caribbean 42%
 South America 49%
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Slave Trade Basics
From 1701 to 1810, a period for which we
have good shipping records, 59% came from
the West African regions of Senegambia,
Sierra Leone, and Ghana.
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Slave Trade Basics
Judith Carney presents convincing historical
documentary evidence to show that the
plantation owners in the rice growing regions
of Georgia and South Carolina actively
sought to purchase slaves from these West
African areas, knowing they had rice
growing knowledge and skills.
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Slave Trade Basics: 2012 Update
Karen Hess (1992:13) cites a Charleston
newspaper advertisement in 1785 that
described “a choice cargo of windward and
gold coast negroes, who have been
accustomed to the planting of rice.”
Source: Hess, Karen. 1992. The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection. Columbia, South
Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. Page 13.
This slide was added
23 January 2012
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Slave Trade Basics: 2012 Update
Hess (1992:14–15) further cites studies showing
that South Carolina slaves used seed planting
methods identical to those in Africa where they
pushed a hole with their heel as they walked along,
then covered the seed by pushing down with their
foot.
Source: Hess, Karen. 1992. The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection. Columbia, South
Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. Page s14–15.
This slide was added
23 January 2012
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Slave Trade Basics: 2012 Update
Hoeing in unison to work songs was another
African procedure used in rice planting that
was not imposed by the European planters.
Source: Hess, Karen. 1992. The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection. Columbia, South
Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. Page14.
This slide was added
23 January 2012
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Slave Trade Basics
West Africans were also desirable because of
their resistance to malaria, something the
white owners recognized but could not
explain. Today we know that the presence of
sickle cell in their blood and certain foods in
their diet gave them substantial immunity
from the disease.
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Slave Trade Basics
The US Congress outlawed the slave
trade in 1808, but slavery as an
institution had already been enshrined in
the US Constitution. Slave trading
continued in the New World until about
1870.
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Slave Trade Basics
US slaveholders dealt with the abolition
of the overseas slave trade by creating
slave breeding “farms” so that an
internal slave market and slave trade
developed.
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Slave Trade Basics: 2012
Update
Thousands of slaves went from breeding
farms in Kentucky to Mississippi or Alabama.
Up to 16% of all Kentucky slaves were “sold
down the [Ohio and Mississippi] river”
(which is where that saying comes from).
This slide was added
23 January 2012
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Slave Trade Basics: 2012 Update
The white and black characters who ride
down the Mississippi together on a raft in
Mark Twain’s 1884 novel Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn capture some of the drama
because this fact was known to readers in
his lifetime.
This slide was added
23 January 2012
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Slave Trade Basics: 2013 Update
Slavery was abolished legally in the US
in 1865 by the 13th Amendment to the
Constitution. Some of the drama
surrounding the Amendment is shown
in the 2012 feature film “Lincoln.”
This slide was updated
03 November 2013
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Floodplain and Coastal Rice
During the slave era in
Georgia and South Carolina,
floodplain and coastal rice
plantations arose.
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African Rice Systems
West African rice farmers were experts
at the technical aspects of inland and
tidal rice growing.
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Floodplain and Coastal Rice in
America
European slave owners
knew nothing about wet
rice agriculture or
irrigation systems yet they
developed highly profitable
rice plantations in Georgia
and South Carolina in the
17th and 18th centuries.
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Floodplain and Coastal Rice in
America
African rice farming
connects with the
earliest New World
systems through the
techniques of managing
water flow and keeping
fresh water safe from
salt water intrusions.
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African Rice in America
On the Cooper River
Plantation in South
Carolina we find
evidence of West
African inland and
tidal systems that
differ from the
Asian designs.
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African Rice in America
This plantation has some of the oldest rice
growing dike and canal works known in the New
World, perhaps dating from 1690 or before.
This was one of the most profitable and
successful of the Carolina Rice centers.
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African Rice in America
Among the many African-based contributions to Carolina rice production was the
“hanging dike,” shown in the next slide.
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African Rice in America
Week 11 Africa 3 Rice
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African Rice in America
The hanging dike facilitated the entry of
the layer of fresh water that runs along the
top of the salt water in tidal marshes. The
salty water is mostly kept out by this
device. Knowledge of this particular
hydraulic engineering technique was
available to West African rice farmers.
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African Rice in America
The hanging dike also facilitated control
over the amount of water fed to the rice
plants at different stages of the growing
season and helped in bringing nutrients to
the seedlings.
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African Rice in America
On the Boone
Plantation in
South Carolina
we see modern
remains of a
similar
irrigation
layout.
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African Rice in America
Rice, followed in
some areas by
tobacco and then
cotton, led to the
great Southern
fortunes and the
construction of
Greek style
mansions.
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African Rice in America
On the Boone
Plantation in South
Carolina, tourists
view the splendid
accumulations of
classic art and
furniture of the
former slaveowning Southern
families.
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African Rice in America
Quarters
for the
slaves
who
created
the
wealth
were less
lavish.
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Oryza glaberrima in
America?
Judith Carney presents
historical evidence that
the earliest slaves in
the New World grew
African rice, Oryza
glaberrima, on their
household plots.
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Oryza glaberrima in
America?
The European slave owners quickly realized that
the hydrological and agricultural skills of the
African rice growers could help them make big
profits by growing rice in America and selling it
to Europe.
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Oryza glaberrima in
America?
Oryza glaberrima, the West African rice
variety, would have been the first to grow
in the Carolina inland swamps and tidal
areas.
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Oryza glaberrima in
America?
But the Asian variety, Oryza sativa, gave
higher output and would have quickly
replaced the African rice in a commercial
environment.
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Oryza glaberrima in
America?
So the African Oryza glaberrima would
have been driven out of New World rice
production even though the agricultural
techniques applied to Oryza sativa had
originated with the African variety.
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The Spread of Oryza sativa
In Africa, too, plantation and commercial
agriculture led colonial governments to
promote Oryza sativa over glaberrima in
hopes of gaining quick profits through higher
outputs.
Source: Pearson, Scott R., J. Dirck Stryker, and Charles P. Humphreys. 1981. Introduction. In Pearson, Scott R., J. Dirck Stryker, and
Charles P. Humphreys, editors, Rice in West Africa: Policy and Economics. Stanford: Stanford University Press. P. 1.
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Oryza sativa in Africa
By the 1970s, when Oryza glaberrima was being
recognized as an African domesticated rice variety,
in the West African nation of Ivory Coast, only
about 10% of the rice produced was of the African
type. In Mali a significant amount of Oryza
glaberrima production remained in the great inland
Niger River Delta – the likely origin site of the
domestication of African rice.
Source: Humphreys, Charles P., and Patricia L. Rader. 1981. Rice Policy in the Ivory Coast. In Pearson, Scott R., J. Dirck Stryker, and
Charles P. Humphreys, editors, Rice in West Africa: Policy and Economics. Stanford: Stanford University Press. P. 22.
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Oryza sativa and Oryza
glaberrima
The sativa rices gave two to three times the
output of the glaberrima varieties, but the
glaberrima varieties have other advantages
we will mention later.
Source: same as previous slide: pages 304-306.
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Oryza glaberrima in
America?
But can any traces of Oryza glaberrima be
found in the New World today?
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Oryza glaberrima in
America?
Carney (page
153)found direct
seed data
confirming
Oryza
glaberrima in
Cayenne French
Guiana and in
El Salvador.
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Oryza glaberrima in
America?
She found
substantial
historical
evidence for its
presence in
Brazil, Surinam,
Haiti, South
Carolina, and
Georgia.
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African Foods in America
In addition to Oryza glaberrima and its production
techniques, West Africans brought to the New World:
 Watermelon (see more 2 slides down) Source: Kittler, Pamela Goyan, and
Kathryn P. Sucher. 1998. Food and
Culture in America: A Nutrition
 Okra
Handbook. Belmont, Calif:
West/Wadsworth. Second edition.
 Sesame
Pp.233-34.
 Black-eyed peas –
to read a short New York Times essay about how
black-eyed peas influence New Year’s celebrations
in parts of the USA, click here
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African Foods in America: 2012
Update
Recently African foods such as benne (African sesame),
African rice ,Tanzanian field peas, African red peas, African
squash and Ethiopian blue malting barley have become the
basis for a revival of gourmet indigenous American cooking
in South Carolina...as featured in the October 31, 2011 New
Yorker Magazine.
(You can get the article in Sprague’s online service or if you are a New
Yorker subscriber.)
Source: Bilger, Richard. 2011. True Grits: In Charleston a Quest to Revive Authentic Southern Cooking. The New Yorker October 31,
2011: 40 et seq.
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African Foods in America: 2014
Update
The African domesticated watermelon on the other
hand, emerged as partly a symbol of ridicule that
some white racists have used to insult and degrade
African Americans right up to the present time. A
December 2014 article in Atlantic Monthly surveys
the background to the rise of the watermelon as a
racially charged symbol. Some of the information
will surprise you. Click here.
Source: William Black. 2014. How Watermelons Became a Racist Trope. Atlantic Monthly, December, 2014.
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African Foods in America: 2014
Update
And – a quintessential
American comfort food –
fried chicken with a
batter covering – turns
out to be a gift from
African slave cooks in the
U.S.
This slide was added on 28
December, 2014
Week 11 Africa 3 Rice
110
African Foods in America: 2014
Update
Journalist Andrew Lawler’s newly
published history of the chicken
includes material somewhat parallel
to the watermelon story (see two
slides back).
Domesticated chickens were
brought from Africa by slaves who –
despite their servitude – were able
to own the chickens and sell them
to their masters or to others.
This slide was added on 28
December, 2014
Week 11 Africa 3 Rice
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African Foods in America: 2014
Update
Slaves kept and managed chickens on their small
house plots – where they also grew rice as
described by Judith Carney in her study of African
based rice production that we saw earlier in this
slideshow.
This slide was added on 28
December, 2014
Week 11 Africa 3 Rice
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African Foods in America: 2014
Update
Black slave cooks on the plantations brought West
African chicken pieces fried in oil to their white
masters who took to the new food. This basic
chicken dish later became a favorite of immigrant
groups from Europe and Asia who added new
varieties of chickens from their homelands.
Source: Lawler, Andrew. 2014. Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization. New
York: Atria Books.
This slide was added on 28
December, 2014
Week 11 Africa 3 Rice
113
African Foods in America: 2014
Update
You can read the whole
story in Lawler’s new
book, or just check out a
few paragraphs summary
that was printed in The
New York Times on
November 26, 2014. Click
here.
This slide was added on 28
December, 2014
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The Future of African Rice
Today Asian rice
Oryza sativa is
spreading in West
Africa while some
older rice areas
are going to other
crops.
Source: Richards, Paul. 1986.
Coping with Hunger: Hazard and
Experiment in an African RiceFarming System. London: Allen and
Unwin. P. 4.
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The Future of African Rice
Some experts have even labeled Oryza
glaberrima a weed when it grows on the
same fields as sativa varieties.
Source: De Datta, Surajit K. 1981. Principles and Practices of Rice Production.
New York: John Wiley and Sons. P. 505.
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The Future of African Rice
But Oryza
glaberrima
continues to
be grown in
some of the
original
African rice
areas.
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The Future of African Rice
African
domesticated
rice has
characteristics
that offer hope
for improving
the world food
supply.
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African Rice and the Human
Future
French agronomists have identified at least
41 varieties of oryza glaberrima.
Sources: McIntire, John. 1981. Rice Production in Mali. In Pearson, Scott R., J. Dirck Stryker, and Charles
P. Humphreys, editors, Rice in West Africa: Policy and Economics. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
P. 333. McIntire cites for this information Jean Gallais, 1967. Le Delta Intérieur du Niger: Etude de
Géographie Régionale,. 2 vols. Dakar: Institut Fondamental de l’Afrique Noir. Vol. 1, p. 99. Gallais in
turn cites the research of French agronomist Pierre Viguier, who worked in the area in the 1930s.
Week 11 Africa 3 Rice
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African Rice and the
Human Future
Oryza glaberrima, it turns out, has a very
short growing cycle – less than 90 days – and
thus offers promise for speeding up and
therefore increasing the annual production of
grains in tidal marshes and swampy areas.
Source: Richards, Paul. 1986. Coping with Hunger: Hazard and Experiment in an African
Rice-Farming System. London: Allen and Unwin. Pp. 148-49 and 154.
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African Rice and the
Human Future
Despite its distant origin both in time and
geography from Oryza sativa, the two can be
crossbred to produce hybrids with numerous
possibilities in terms of output, disease
resistance, timing, and other important
qualities.
Source: Oka, H. I. 1988, Origin of Cultivated Rice. New York: Elsevier and Japan Scientific
Societies Press. Pp. 199-205.
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African Rice and the Human
Future
African rice holds a promise for future
generations of a better food supply and
wealth and resources more fairly distributed
than in the days of the slave trade.
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African Rice
It can be part of a better
future for all peoples.
Week 11 Africa 3 Rice
123
African Rice
End of Week 11
Lecture 01
African Rice in America
Week 11 Africa 3 Rice
124

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