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The Cultivation of Uvi


  1. All weeds, vines, and shrubs growing between the trees in the farm lot selected for the year’s cultivation are uprooted. The workers start at the lower end of the farm (called sitnan) moving upwards to the upper border (called bahayan).
  2. Trees on the cleared farm lot (chinamkaman) are cut, mostly by men. And when the smaller trees have been cut, the branches of the large trees are pruned (maytutu) in order to allow enough sunlight to nourish the uvi plants.
  3. Removal of the cut trees and pruned branches from the farm itself. These are thrown piled up one on top of the other on the farm fringes, then burned.
  4. Careful clearing of the ground by weeding up any remaining small weeds or other small growths. These additional debris from the soil are piled up with the rest of the already piled twigs and leaves and burned.
  5. Excess stumps are uprooted by digging up and cutting of large roots. Stumps that are too large are not removed as it is impractical to do so. Saplings from these are later removed periodically in the process called kapanidahudturen.



A farmer cuts uvi into segments (kapamaltak) which
become the uvi seedlings during planting (kapaymuha).
    1. Kapanghuvang. Done a day before or during planting day, the men make rows upon rows of regularly spaced softened points on the ground (roughly 45 cm apart) where the uviseedlings are to be planted.  These softened spots are called huvang.
    2. Kapaymuha is the planting of the uvi seedlings (tatayu). It is generally the women who do the planting; however, the practice is not exclusive.The uvi seedlings are generally cut up segments of the tuber. These are produced by cutting up the each tuber (except small ones) leaving enough of the peel on which the sprouting takes place. The act of cutting the seedlings is called kapamaltak.



Reeds (viawu) being installed as trellises for the uvi.
    1. Kapauknod is trellising. It consists of laying defoliated tree branches in an orderly manner in up-down orientation and more or less parallel to one another. In other towns like Basco and Mahatao, viawu (reeds) are used instead. Reeds are grown in abundance on the farm lot fringes (iñisan) as windbreak; and during the kapauknod, these are cut for trellising.
    2. Kapanlavuk. First weeding of the uvi farm after planting. It takes place about a month and half or so after planting, although the time it takes place depends largely on how fast the weeds grow.
    3. Kapamirwa. Weeding of the uvi farm a second time. It takes place when the second set of weed growth is big enough for potential damage to the uvi.
    4. Kapamitdu. The third time the uvi farm is weeded. However, if the uvi has grown lush so that there is no longer room for weeds to thrive, this third weeding becomes unnecessary.


    1. Kapaniva. Ritual of the first new crop of tubers. This may have been the harvest ceremony in the past; but today it consists of the family’s going to the uvi farm, usually with invited friends and relatives, to dig up a few sample tubers, cook these, and serve as lunch, usually with a butchered animal to add festivity to the occasion.
    2. Kapanghahap. Digging of the tubers at harvest time. This is usually done over a period of time. It is not usual to dig up all the tubers all at once. Only part of the farm is harvested at a time. The reason is that the harvesting is not distinct from the procurement of daily food supply for the family. Whatever is dug up is carefully inspected. The future seedlings are separated along with the tubers which appear to be in a healthy condition and won’t spoil for a long time. The tubers that are set aside for storage are called vaaken, and seedlings are muhamuha.



A farmer covers a pit (laveng) filled
with uvi for further seasoning.
    1. Kapaylaveng. The tubers set aside during Kapanghahap are re-buried in a common earth-covered pit called laveng. This is to allow the new harvest to be seasoned further.
    2. Kapatwaw su nilaveng.   The buried are dug. This usually takes place a month later when the tubers are thought to have been seasoned.
    3. Kapaysarwap. All the nilaveng (vaaken and muhamuha) are gathered in one place, usually where a sarwap can be conveniently built. If, during harvest, it is estimated that the produce is bountiful, the sarwap-making is anticipated.When the nilaveng are all out, the experts separate those which are ideal for storage and those for immediate consumption. This done, the storables (vaaken and muhamuha) are placed in a sarwap.

Source: Hornedo, FH. Taming the Wind, UST Publishing House. 2000. Pp. 139-149

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