Paddy harvesting – Using the Rungus traditional way

My father in law was sick, when he fell down about 2 weeks ago. He could hardly stand by himself, his right side of his body felt weak, and his right leg was really painful. The worse thing is, this is harvesting season. He had to look for (and pay) somebody else to harvest his paddy because of his condition at this moment.

So, as a good son in law, we went back to Kudat few days back, during the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday and Good Friday, to see how’s things going on for him. I brought him some expensive painkillers (which I got from the clinic – free sample), hopefully, it could gave him some relief. Luckily, after examining, he got no fractured bones, but have some old bruises and few muscle and tendon sprain, which usually needs longer time to resolve due to his age.

I mentioned to him that I would help him harvesting, as I have done it before, while I was dating his daughter (she is now my wife). I know, not much could be harvested in this short visit, but I think the most important thing is I have made an effort to do it, and don’t just laze around in his house all day.

Oh, I have to tell you that my father in law still use the Rungus traditional way to harvest paddy, which uses manual labour. Most of the people in Kg. Tinangol still uses the same technique, and I have not seen anybody uses heavy machinery to harvest paddy. And the way they cut the paddy is also a bit different from the way that the do it in northern part of Peninsular Malaysia (i.e. Kedah and Perlis paddy farmers).

I managed to snap some photos and recorded a very short Youtube clip for your viewing. I am not sure how long this technique will last, as younger generations of Kg. Tinangol has moved away from the village and none of them are interested in being a traditional paddy farmers. My parent in law are also getting old, and I don’t think they would be able to continue to plant paddy anymore, maybe in few years time.

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way
The tool to cut the paddy and “guni beras” at my left hand.

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way
It was raining heavily the week before, and the paddy field got flooded. So, some of the paddy was destroyed by the flood.

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way
Some of the paddy that I harvested. Did you see my Crocs? (It’s asadi actually…)

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way
You see how wet it was???

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way
My brother in law followed me later. And he is not showing you the right way to harvest paddy – short sleeves and a bermuda??? The only thing that looks good is his cap!

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way
Our harvest!

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way
My son is always with me.

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way

Paddy harvesting - Using a Rungus traditional way

And I manage to record a clip of the process. Apology for the sound and the visual…

6 thoughts on “Paddy harvesting – Using the Rungus traditional way

  1. I used to ‘menyibuk’when my grandpa still toil the soils. i was more like playing and running around most of the time. The only person in my family who is still actively doing it is my uncle… Oligung Kastum.

  2. My only memories with paddy field is when our grandpa was having this big “ketam padi” time. Of course, me and Kay would only play around, jumping on the hays and getting itchy legs by the end of the day… 🙂

  3. Kay & cindy: Yes, I forgot about the itchy arms. I ignored my wife’s advice to wear long sleeves, so I got a lot of scratch marks over both arm due to the itchiness!!!

  4. Hi,

    Just saw this article..and thought of contacting you to know about this method.

    It looks like it can save lot of effort, please get back to me over the email

    Regards,
    Nandan

  5. Hi,
    Nice pictures, its good to see the huge diversity of the human culture, reflected in the waw we get our food. Greetings from Colombia
    Saludos desde Colombia,
    Daniel

  6. As a typical Englishman I immediately started trying to think of a way to do this ‘better’ by machine! I couldn’t hear the sound of diesel engines in the background, sounded a bit strange to me….

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