The road to Mon

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    After I'd visited the Hornbill Festival I decided to travel further East into Konyak country.

    Mon district was never ruled by the British and there was no civil administration till 1948.
    The infrastructure is appalling and it took me about 5 hrs to go about 60km by jeep.
    So to stop along the way, buy and eat some freshly plucked oranges whilst interacting with nice local people is a Godsend.

    The local people practice Jhum cultivation:
    Jhum cultivation is most practiced on the slopes of hills in thickly forested landscapes. The cultivators cut the treetops to allow sunlight to reach the land. They burn all the trees and grasses for clean and fresh soil. It is believed that this helps to fertilize the land, but can leave it vulnerable to erosion. As I travelled further East and further into tribal areas, jhum cultivation became more apparent and there were vast swathes of land devastated and won't recover for years. I'm no agriculturalist and I have no idea if it's right or wrong. I just hope the land does recover.

    Like a lot of shots in this series, please have a view in lightroom

    Wild Kindness, Leon Moss, and 4 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. ColetteSimonds 68 months ago | reply

      Incredibly beautiful shot Rob, and interesting write up. In general slash and burn is bad in the long term and has been abandonned in many places. Soil nutrients and minerals get washed out and erosion takes place. In many places they are trying to plant fast growing tree species to recover some soil and for protection. But if those places are left alone, the soil will laterize and nothing will grow in the long run. It's particularly bad in an area like this with a strong monsoon. I saw entire areas devastated as a result of this practice.

    2. rob of rochdale 68 months ago | reply

      ColetteSimonds Thanks Colette. I was pretty sure slash and burn was bad for the area but I really am no expert. Many thanks for your input.

    3. bug eye :) Thailand 68 months ago | reply

      So beautiful of street shot ~ EXCELLENT Capture !

    4. Gingerboar 68 months ago | reply

      Slash and burn. You can get cream or tablets for that :)
      Keep posting Rob I'm enjoying your travels.

    5. Leon Moss 68 months ago | reply

      stunning image, such a lovely moment. love it!

    6. rob of rochdale 68 months ago | reply

      Apisit Wilaijit Many thanks

      mitch Hahaha, trust you! Thanks Mitch, you'd have enjoyed it in NE India.

      Leon Moss Cheers Leon, she was delighted that we bought 20 oranges from her

    7. FreddieBernard 68 months ago | reply

      What a sweet and you got a nice smile back from the lady! The scenery is absolutely gorgeous!!!

    8. Mr sAg 68 months ago | reply

      I remember reading about desertification brought on by slash and burn in my school years but seeing your pictures and the apparent remoteness of some of these tribes and villages makes me realise that, in a lot of places where it is practiced, the people probably don't know any better. The practice has probably served them well through their culture's history as far as need and necessity are concerned. They appear to be so far removed from the modern world and all its advancements in research and science...
      ...I don't know where I'm heading with my ramble and they are only thoughts so i'll stop.
      This is a beautiful photo, Rob, set with such a wonderful backdrop. They both look so happy, probably more so that you bought so many oranges from her. Splendid work!

    9. rob of rochdale 68 months ago | reply

      MONA سبحان الله وبحمده Thanks Mona, it's a beautiful place

      Frédérique Bernard Cheers Freddie. I think she was delighted to be earning some cash for a change. I can't see an awful lot of people driving past her in a day. The scenery is gorgeous you're right. Which makes it even more upsetting when you see great swathes of land reduced to waste after jhum cultivation.

    10. rob of rochdale 68 months ago | reply

      Mr sAg Cheers Simon. I think to a certain degree you are right. There are campaigns in place to educate the tribal people about the negative aspects of jhum cultivation but, as you say, it's served them well for many years. Bottom line is, they really don't want to be part of India, they certainly don't want to be part of China or Myanmar, they just want to be left alone but in an increasingly small world, is this possible?

      Hey, look who's rambling now?? :)

    11. FreddieBernard 68 months ago | reply

      rob The best way to prevent top soil erosion by the rain is to wall layer a hill with large rocks (in terraces), as well as crop rotation and a lot of organic matter.
      By the way, I forgot to say that I like the way the hills become blue in the distance... It gives depth to the image.

    12. [deleted] 68 months ago | reply

      A really well composed photo in its own right, but your notes add so much. No Hard Rock cafe T-shirts, 5 star hotels or Thomas Cook tour guides for you! A proper, seasoned traveller. Take my hat off to you mate.

    13. rob of rochdale 68 months ago | reply Ha, cheers Mate. I do like getting off the beaten track. Unfortunately that means putting up with a few privations; no internet, total power cuts, very basic accommodation, no water... the list goes on.

      I do like a challenge! :)

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