We are unable to display your institutional affiliation without JavaScript turned on.
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Find using OpenURL

Rice and Magic: A Cultural History from the Precolonial World to the Present


Beliefs in rice spirits were integral to the magical worldview of the precolonial inhabitants of the Philippine islands. Under Spanish colonialism, rice became a staple but it underwent disenchantment and symbolic marginality. By the 1870s rice production fell short relative to demand. Twentieth-century initiatives to address persistent shortages culminated in the 1960s Green Revolution, which further altered the rice plant and ushered in the age of practicality. Because rice production cannot be fully controlled, farmers still deploy culturally meaningful strategies to deal with uncertainties. The old meanings of rice for commensality have also proven resilient and reveal peculiarly Filipino ways.

You must be logged in through an institution that subscribes to this journal or book to access the full text.


Shibboleth authentication is only available to registered institutions.

Project MUSE

For subscribing associations only.