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What is Zomia exactly?To answer that question we must first discuss the Southeast Asian Massif- the term “Southeast Asian Massif” itself was proposed in 1997 by anthropologist Jean Michaud to discuss the human societies inhabiting the lands above approximately 300 metres (1,000 ft) in the southeastern portion of the Asian landmass, thus not merely in the uplands of conventional Mainland Southeast Asia. It concerns highlands overlapping parts of 10 countries: southwest China, Northeast India, eastern Bangladesh, and all the highlands of Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Peninsular Malaysia, and Taiwan. The indigenous population encompassed within these limits numbers approximately 100 million, not counting migrants from surrounding lowland majority groups who came to settle in the highlands over the last few centuries. The Southeast Asian Massif overlaps geographically with what political scientist James C. Scott called “Zomia” in 2009. While the notion of Zomia underscores a historical and political understanding of that high region, the Southeast Asia Massif or “Zomia” is more appropriately labelled a place or a social space. Location The notion of “Zomia” refers first to peoples and cultures, it is neither realistic nor helpful to define the area precisely in terms of altitude, latitude and longitude, with definite outside limits and set internal subdivisions. Broadly speaking, however, at their maximum extension, these highland groups have historically been scattered over a domain mostly situated above an elevation of about three hundred meters, within an area approximately the size of Western Europe. Stretching from the temperate Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) which roughly demarcates the northern boundary, it moves south to encompass the high ranges extending east and south from the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, and the monsoon high country drained by the basins of the lower Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween, Chao Phraya, Mekong, Song Hong (Red River), and Zhu Jiang (Pearl River) In China, the Massif includes extreme eastern Tibet, southern and western Sichuan, western Hunan, a small portion of western Guangdong, all of Guizhou and Yunnan, with north and west Guangxi. Spilling over the Southeast Asian peninsula, it covers most of the border areas of Burma with adjacent segments of northeastern India (Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland with portions of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam) and southeastern Bangladesh, the north and west of Thailand, all of Laos above the Mekong valley, borderlands in northern and central Vietnam along the Annam Cordillera, and the northeastern fringes of Cambodia. Beyond the northern limit of the Massif, the Chongqing basin is not included because it has been colonised by the Han for over one millennium, and the massive influx of population into this fertile rice bowl of China has spilled well into parts of central and western Sichuan above 500 metres. The same observation applies to highlands further north in Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. At the southern extreme, highland peninsular Malaysia should be excluded as it is disconnected from the Massif by the Isthmus of Kra, and is intimately associated with the Malay world instead. That said, many of the indigenous highland populations of peninsular Malaysia, the Orang Asli, are Austroasiatic by language, and thus linked to groups in the Massif such as the Wa, the Khmu, the Katu, or the Bahnar. The Tibetan world is not included in the Massif as it has its own logic: a centralized and religiously harmonised core with a long, distinctive political existence that places it in a "feudal" and imperial category, which the societies historically associated with the Massif have rarely, if ever, developed into In this sense, the western limit of the Massif, then, is as much a historical and political one as it is linguistic, cultural, and religious. Again, this should not be seen as clear-cut. Many societies on Tibet's periphery, such as the Khampa, Naxi, Drung or Mosuo in Yunnan, the Lopa in Nepal, or the Bhutia in Sikkim, have switched allegiances repeatedly over the centuries, moving in and out of Lhasa's orbit. Moreover, the Tibeto-Burman language family and Tibetan Buddhism have spilled over the eastern edge of the plateau. Historical Linguistic and Cultural Practices To further qualify the particularities of the Massif, a series of core factors can be incorporated: history, languages, religion, customary social structures, economies, and political relationships with lowland states. What distinguishes highland societies may exceed what they have in common: a vast ecosystem, a state of marginality, and forms of subordination. The Massif is crossed by six major language families, none of which form a decisive majority. In religious terms, several groups are Animist, others are Buddhist, some are Christian, a good number share Taoist and Confucian values, the Hui are Muslim, while most societies sport a complex syncretism. Throughout history, feuds and frequent hostilities between local groups were evidence of the plurality of cultures. The region has never been united politically, not as an empire, nor as a space shared among a few feuding kingdoms, not even as a zone with harmonised political systems. Forms of distinct customary political organisations, chiefly lineage based versus "feudal", have long existed. At the national level today, political regimes in countries sharing the region (democracies, three socialist regimes, one constitutional monarchy, and one military dictatorship) simply magnify this ancient political diversity. Along with other transnational highlands around the Himalayas and around the world, the Southeast Asian Massif is marginal and fragmented in historical, economic, as well as cultural terms. Inquiries on the ground throughout the Massif show that these peoples share a sense of being different from the national majorities, a sense of geographical remoteness, and a state of marginality that is connected to political and economic distance from regional seats of power. In cultural terms, these highland societies are like a cultural mosaic with contrasting colours, rather than an integrated picture in harmonized shades – what Terry Rambo, talking from a Vietnam perspective, has dubbed "a psychedelic nightmare". Yet, when observed from the necessary distance, that mosaic can form a distinctive and significant picture, even if an imprecise one at times. Historically, these highlands have been used by lowland empires as reserves of resources (including slaves), and as buffer spaces between their domains. Zomia Zomia is a geographical term coined in 2002 by historian Willem van Schendel of the University of Amsterdam to refer to the huge mass of mainland Southeast Asia that has historically been beyond the control of governments based in the population centers of the lowlands. The name is from Zomi, a term for highlander common to several related Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in the India-Bangladesh-Burma border area. It largely overlaps with the geographical extent of the Southeast Asian Massif, although the exact boundaries of Zomia differ among scholars, all would include the highlands of north Indochina (north Vietnam and all Laos), Thailand, the Shan Hills of northern Myanmar, and the mountains of Southwest China; some extend the region as far west as Tibet, Northeast India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. These areas share a common elevated, rugged terrain, and have been the home of ethnic minorities that have preserved their local cultures by residing far from state control and influence. Zomia covers more than 2,500,000 square kilometres (970,000 sq mi) over the Southeast Asian Massif and comprises nearly one hundred million marginal people. This large area is inside the fringe of eight states and the entirety of one, stretching across the standard regional designations (South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia). Along with its ecological diversity and its relation to states, it arouses a lot of interest. It stands for an original entity of study, a type of international appellation, and a different way in which to study regions. In 2009, political scientist James Scott argued that there is a unity across the Massif – which he calls Zomia – regarding political forms of domination and subordination, which bonds the fates of the peoples dwelling there, virtually all of whom had taken refuge there to avoid being integrated into a more powerful state, or even allowing the very appearance of a state-like structure within their own societies. Scott used the concept of Zomia to argue that the continuity of the ethnic cultures living there provides a counter-narrative to the traditional story about modernity: namely, that once people are exposed to the conveniences of modern technology and the modern state, they will assimilate. Rather, the tribes in Zomia are conscious refugees from state rule and state-centered economies. From his preface: “[Hill tribes] seen from the valley kingdoms as 'our living ancestors,' 'what we were like before we discovered wet-rice cultivation, Buddhism, and civilization' [are on the contrary] best understood as runaway, fugitive, maroon communities who have, over the course of two millennia, been fleeing the oppressions of state-making projects in the valleys — slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labor, epidemics, and warfare.” Scott goes on to add that Zomia is the biggest remaining area of earth whose inhabitants have not been completely absorbed by nation-states, although that time is coming to an end. While Zomia is exceptionally diverse linguistically, the languages spoken in the hills are distinct from those spoken in the plains. Kinship structures, at least formally, also distinguish the hills from the lowlands. Hill societies do produce "a surplus", but they do not use that surplus to support kings and monks. Distinctions of status and wealth abound in the hills, as in the valleys. The difference is that in the valleys they tend to be enduring, while in the hills they are both unstable and geographically confined. Cannabis, Religion & Culture Cannabis holds significance in human history and life today as a triple-use crop. First, its fruits (seeds) provide valuable protein and essential fatty acids, it's flowers medicine and its stems fibers. Archaeological evidence in a food context dates back to 10,000 bp, in Japan (Kobayashi et al. 2008). Its bast cells supply fibres, for cordage and textiles. Carbonized hemp fibres, found with silk and spinning wheels, date to 5,600 bp, in Henan Province, China (Zhang and Gao 1999). Its flowering tops produce cannabinoids, which have been used for medicinal, shamanic, and recreational purposes. Archaeological evidence of drug use dates to 2,700 bp, in the Xinjiang region of China. (Russo et al. 2008; Jiang et al. 2016). The Cannabis centre of origin is thought to be in the general vicinity of Qinghai Lake. This co-localises with the first steppe community that evolved in Asia. From there, Cannabis first dispersed west (Europe by 6 Ma) then east (eastern China by 1.2 Ma). Cannabis pollen in India appeared by 32.6 thousand years (ka) ago. The earliest archaeological evidence was found in Japan, 10,000 bce, followed by China. Zomia belongs to both the Chinese and Indian sphere of influence so it is hard to determine when any of the particular groups living in the area adopted cannabis and hemp farming. However it likely arrived at the same time as the hegemonistic empires did beginning roughly 2500 years ago. The crop itself thrives at altitude, the best environment for it is from 200-1800 meters altitude and thus presents itself as a common element among the disparate languages and cultures of the area. This historically has helped to foster links between communities through trade as having goods in common facilitates understanding via linguistic contact. The name Ganja, as it is largely known, seems to indicate the South Indian/Bengali influence which dominated in particular in modern Southeast Asia. The crop is found from the Indian border all the way to vietnam. We seek to tap into this shared element, this common feature of the Zomian Landscape.
What is 'landrace' Cannabis?‘Landraces’ are domesticated strains of Cannabis which have undergone a selection process for desired traits, be they quality fibre, larger and nutritious seeds or better yet - elevated levels of THC. This selection process has been ongoing for millenia in certain areas and thus the idea that Landraces are “wild” cannabis strains is seriously misleading. Farmers in different regions select for different traits, particularly traits that adapt to their unique growing conditions and requirements, be they drought resistance or tolerance to elevated humidity. Because of this, in areas where Cannabis has been grown traditionally for long periods of time, eg. at least several generations - there exist multiple ‘Landrace’ varieties for each and every region, valley, hillside and sometimes even village. Landraces which have been bred for consumption as a drug, ie. with elevated THC levels are seperated in Asia into two main categories: The resin producing varieties destined for Charas or Hashish production of the Himalaya, Hindu Kush, Central Asia and the Middle East The large ‘bud’ producing varieties or ‘Ganja' produced in subtropical and tropical India and Southeast Asia (Zomia). As a repository of genetic biodiversity, the traditional growing regions and their native strains have never been under as much threat as they are now. There is a significant risk that these strains may become extinct in the wild forever. Therefore it is crucial now more than ever to try and prevent this from happening by educating and engaging with traditional growers and their domesticated varieties.
Worldwide shipping?Zomia Cannabis Collective ships worldwide but we ask you to check your local law before ordering, as laws differ from country to country, state to state and by ordering, you are confirming that you are ok to do so.
Is your shipping discrete?At Zomia Cannabis Collective, we go to every effort to make sure your order reaches you as quickly and securely as possible. All packaging is completely discreet, and we take great care in ensuring your order is packaged to minimize risk of damage. For your privacy all orders are sent in a plain brown unmarked "jiffy" padded envelope. Only your name and address will appear on the package and there will be no mention of the contents or our company name on the package. We also offer various Stealth Shipping options. For more information visit our Seed Shipping Page.
Once I have ordered, how will I receive my tracking number?"You will automatically receive an e-mail to confirm receipt of your order. You will receive an e-mail on dispatch notifying you of your tracking number and that the order is being processed. Orders are normally processed in 1-3 working days. If you have not received your tracking number, please remember to check your junk mail folder before contacting us as e-mails do not always end up in your inbox. Please note that orders shipped via standard Airmail have no tracking information.
How long will my package take to arrive?Shipping in Europe: Orders should arrive within 5 business days from the date of dispatch. Worldwide shipping: international orders can take 7-14 days from the date of dispatch to delivery. Note that dispatch will occure within 1-2 days of order processing.
My seeds are damaged/faulty, what should I do?"In the highly unlikely event that an item sent to you is found to be faulty, please fill in the Quality Claim Form or contact our Support Team.
What is your returns policy?Zomia Cannabis Collective requires contact by e-mail as goods sent back without prior consent from Zomia Cannabis Collective will be sent back at your cost. If you would like to return items bought from this website, you may do so within 7 days of receiving your purchase. Items returned must be in a new and unused condition with all original packaging intact. We will refund the cost of the items; however shipping charges are non-refundable. Feel free to contact us should you have any questions regarding our return policy.
Is shipping included in the Seed price?No. Shipping will be charged on top of the total cost of seeds you wish to purchase.
Will I get free seeds with my order?Yes. For Herbies Seeds latest free seed offers visit our Promotions page.
What are the methods of payment?Zomia Cannabis Collective currently offers two payment options: bank transfers and payments by card. For making a card payment or a bank transfer you simply need to follow the instructions at the checkout. Please note that all credit card payments are made in euros. No fee is charged. If your credit card is not in euros, please note that the currency exchange rate at our website may differ from the rate in your bank.
I want some seeds but they're out of stock. Could you notify me when they' re available again?Yes. If you sign up to our 'Back In Stock' list we'll contact you via email once we have your selected seeds back in supply.