rice terraces

All this agricultural activity requires plenty of water, and our ancestors were ingenious in their use of this precious substance. There were, in all, five different types of wewas.

First, there was the forest wewa," which was dug in the jungle above the village. It was not for irrigation but rather for the purpose of providing water for the wild creatures that lived in the jungle. They in turn did not come down into the village in search of water or to interfere with our various agricultural activities.

The second type was the 'mountain wewa'. This provided water for chena cultivation. The third kind was for erosion control and was called pota wetiya. Here the silt accumulated where it could be easily desilted. The fourth type was the 'storage wewa.'

There were usually two of them. One was in use when the other was being maintained. They were connected to a large number of village wewas, which they fed and which in turn fed them when they overflowed. The village wewa" was the fifth type, and there was one for every puranagama.

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