Grain and root farming

The distinction between grain- and root-farming cultures has been cited as the basis of fundamental differences of outlook between Occident and Orient. Briefly, the thesis is that the root crops of southeast Asia required fewer and simpler techniques of cultivation, were perennials instead of annuals, stored less well than grain, concentrated less energy than grain, were grown in small, mixed assemblages instead of large monocultures, required less irrigation, and fermented differently. The result is that the husbandry of Asia was more in harmony with the inward and passive mysteries of the feminine principle. The Great Mother in the West was more readily subordinated to the calculating and regimenting masculine ideal. Even today, the maternal figure in Asia keeps an energy that in the West was swept away by the conquest of the Mycenaeans by the Achaeans and in the Levant by the collapse of the autochthonous temple cities of the river valleys. (Diamond (1981)[1] in Shepard (1998)[2] )

  1. Diamond, S., 1981. Culture in history: essays in honor of Paul Radin. Octagon Press, Limited. 

  2. Shepard, P., 1998. Nature and madness. University of Georgia Press.