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Toddy Palm culture in Myanmar (1752-1885)
- Toddy palm climbing and palm sugar boiling business have been predominant in Myanmar society since the Bagan Period. The trees grow mainly in upland dry zone regions where annual rain fall is scanty, less than 40 inches and where dry cultivation is prevalent. This study is confined to the regions of Kyaukpadaung, Myingyan, Myitche, Nyaung Oo, Pakokku, Sintgu, Taungtha and Yesagyo. Periodization is placed on the Konbaung Period(1752-1885). People engaged in toddy palm climbing in this period are found fairly formidable . As this study shows, palm sugar-boiling business alone could not feed a family. Off seasons, they were compelled to work as husbandmen or craftsmen to make both ends meet. In this study four chapters are organized. Chapter One deals with the background history of toddy palm culture; Two, with social conditions of the palm workers; Three, with their economic conditions; and Four, with palm tree products that greatly contribute to Myanmar culture picturesquely and interestingly. As this palm sugar boiling business is still in primitive way and no distinct change has taken place, the research is conducted among the people engaged in toddy palm climbing and palm sugar boiling business. Even though toddy palm climbing is very risky and its sugar-boiling is costly, the workers have no option but to keep on doing it. Nowadays, palm sugar could not fetch good price and compete the demand of cane sugar. Moreover, younger generations can hardly be recruited in this business as they were born and brought up in the age of globalization. This dissertation made attempt to give information that toddy palm climbing and palm sugar boiling business are to die out soon, unless fruitful encouragements and benevolent financial supports are made timely by the authorities.
Aye Aye Thant