Felling Large Trees Back to Gallery Back to Main Page

One of the tasks in preparing a swidden for planting is to fell the huge, heavily buttressed hardwood trees that abound in old growth forest. The men of the neighborhood do one family's field first, then the next, until all have been completed. Because of the buttresses, a scaffold must be built some 12 or 14 feet above ground level. This is hard and dangerous work, although the Teduray men are expert at making the big trees fall just where they want them too. Felling is done with an ax blade hafted onto a flexible shaft, so that the blade can be whipped against the tree. (See Chapter 5)


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all contents © 1998 Stuart A. Schlegel