As far as I know, no one has ever written a history of rice cultivation in the Red River Delta. Instead, I think most people simply assume that people have been employing sophisticated irrigation techniques in order to cultivate wet rice there since the earliest of times.
As I’ve started to look at this issue, however, I’ve come to realize that there isn’t evidence to support such a view. Instead, I see evidence that would indicate that people relied mainly on broadcasting seeds in floodplains until the end of the first millennium AD, when efforts started to be made to dike the Red River and when Vietnamese came into contact with Southwestern Tai-speaking peoples, peoples who possessed sophisticated knowledge about irrigation techniques.
Some readers have been providing information from historical sources (thank you!!) that can help us determine the history of rice cultivation in the Red River Delta, and in looking at this information, it is interesting to see how it has been interpreted.
Continue reading “The Red River Delta’s Limited Rice Supply in the First Century AD”