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Rice is a staple in Asia that has a long history.  Rice is a healthy food source that falls in the vegetable category where in China it is eaten alone or with fish.  While westernized countries eat rice with meat and even in desserts, for the Chinese people, they prefer to eat it as we do bread. 

The northern region of China has a very mild climate and therefore, does not grow rice.  In contrast, the southern region of China is abundant with rice plantations, which are flooded to help product this crop.  The water level must be maintained at a certain level and remain consistent in subtropical weather for the rice to grow. 

The Chinese myth is that rice was sold as a gift to the gods in lieu of animals.  It is believed that after the lands were flooded, all living plants were destroyed.  Animals were scarce, making hunting difficult.  One day, a dog came abounding across a field and as it approached the Chinese people, they noticed its fur was covered with yellow seeds.  Not knowing what these seeds would produce, they planted them and as a result, rice grew.  Even today, the Chinese people have a strong believe that the precious things of life are not the pearls or jade, but the five grains with rice being number one. 

This grain fed thousands of people for longer periods than any other grain did.  When it comes to cultivated rice, three primary species are grown.  The first is O. Sativa and the second, O. Glaberrima.  The first is found in Africa and while it is the most widely used, it is not cultivated.  It is believed that this particular species was developed from other forms approximately 15 millions years ago.  The third species, O. Rufipogon is grown in China among other regions. 

There is documentation showing that the Buddhist scriptures referred to rice quite often and again, used it as an offering to the gods.  Initial evidence from archeologists showed that rice was a valued food dating back as early as 2500 BC during the late Neolithic period in the Yangtze basin. 

Even so, in 1966, an archeologist by the name of Wilhelm G. Solheim II made an important discover in Southeast Asian.  He found pottery shards that had imprints of the O Sativa husks and grains.  These were discovered in the Korat area of Thailand and after extensive testing, it was confirmed that these shards dated back to 4000 BC.   

The Chinese people eventually developed a process of growing rice on farms using puddling soil and then transplanting the seedlings.  Today, this system is still widely used in China.  The puddling works to break down the internal structure of the soil so it does not lose much water during the percolation process.  The seedlings are then transported once they reach one to six weeks.  The transplanting of the rice seedling helps the farmer work the rice field better, thus producing a higher yield.  This very process helped domesticate rice in China.

 

The Great Wall of China The Forbidden City
The Terracotta Army Along the Silk Road
 
Dragon & Phoenix ~ Silk Embroidery
Silk Embroidery
Gold Leaf Painted ~ 10 Inch Turnip Vase
Gold Leaf Lacquer
Pair of 10 Inch Closionne Vases
Cloisonne
Pair of Brass Foo Dogs
Brass & Bronze
Inside Painted Boxes
 
 

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