Traditional Rice Harvest — Hoi An, Vietnam

Traditional Rice Harvest, Hoi An, Vietnam
Traditional Rice Harvest — Hoi An, Vietnam

We are cut­ting rice. The rice of Mai’s fam­i­ly (the woman in the mid­dle). Nor­mal­ly we use a trac­tor to har­vest the rice, but this rice fell down (from the wind), so we have to use a sickle.”

We just help each oth­er. You help me, I help you. We are neigh­bors. For exam­ple, when har­vest­ing sea­son comes, we hire a trac­tor to col­lect all the rice of our fam­i­lies, and then we share the cost. If the trac­tor can not har­vest it all, we will ask peo­ple for help.”

There are 2 sea­sons for rice here, win­ter-spring and sum­mer-fall. We are off in Sep­tem­ber, Octo­ber, and Novem­ber because it rains a lot. In 2000, we start­ed to use a trac­tor. In the past, we just used a sickle.”

(From left to right)
Lợi, 59 years old
Mai, 52 years old
Lựu, 62 years old
Hoi An, Vietnam

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, rice was har­vest­ed by a hand with a sick­le, an extreme­ly labor-inten­sive process. Now, around Hoi An, the farm­ers will hire a per­son with a rice-har­vest­ing trac­tor. When rice is ready for har­vest the grains are heavy and par­tic­u­lar­ly strong wind and/or rain can knock over the stalks ren­der­ing the rice-har­vest­ing trac­tor use­less. (The trac­tors require the rice to be stand­ing straight up). It’s times like this that the sick­les are dust­ed off and the farm­ers revert to the tried and true method of har­vest­ing the rice by hand.

Mai harvesting rice, Hoi An, Vietnam

Mai, 52, jokes with her friends while har­vest­ing her rice by hand.

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