Fuse made of a roll of beaten bark tied with cane strip, for carrying smouldering fire to the fields

Place details: ASIA. India / Nagaland Sentenyu. Cultural Group: Southern Asia, Naga, Rengma Naga: Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Bark Fibre Plant / Cane Plant / ?. Processes: Beaten / ?. Dimensions: Max L = 320 mm Field Collector: James Philip Mills When Collected: November 1932 Other Owners: James Philip Mills PRM Source: James Philip Mills Acquired: Donated ?1933

KEYWORD: Fire Accessory / CLASS: Fire / Agriculture and Horticulture / ?.

Research notes: This object was chosen to feature in a trail around the Pitt Rivers Museum in association with the Museum of English Rural Life on Farming The First 12,000 years (https://merl.reading.ac.uk/explore/online-exhibitions/farming12k/). It featured in a pamphlet with the caption "Bark fuse What connects fire to farming? 'Slash-and-burn' involves cutting and burning natural vegetation to clear land for cultivation. After several years land becomes exhausted and new space must be cleared. Although it has a long history, this technique can damage the environment with loss of soil cover, nutrients, and biodiversity. This roll of bark was collected in 1932 and was made by Rengma Naga people to transport fire to fields in Sendenyu in Nagaland, India. Known as jhum, this practice of shifting agro-forestry remains common in this densely forested region today. PRM 1928.69.1596" [FB 16/12/2020]