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Samoan Material Culture



Terraced irrigation. In the eastern area, the terraced irrigation of the taro (Colocasia antiquorum) forms a marked feature. The water is tapped at a higher level of the stream and conducted down by a main irrigation channel to flats formed by bends of the stream or to where the narrow stream defile opens out into a broader valley. The lower margins and sides of succeeding terraces are built up and faced with stone. Some areas are large in extent and must have involved considerable labor and ingenuity. Terraced irrigation naturally requires streams with a fair fall. The method exists not only in the east central area but also in the marginal localities of Hawaii and the Marquesas. In Samoa, terraced irrigation is absent in spite of suitable streams.