Bissa is one of the greater inventions of ancient farmers. It was used to store
paddy for both consumption and for cultivation. Depending on the type and
quality of paddy, different types of Vee Bissas were set up, such as the Ma Vee
Bissa, Vadimal Vee Bissa and Bala Vee Bissa. Among the other types of paddy
storages, Piduru Bissa, Waruva, Veniya and Pesa were popular
with the ancient and traditional farmers.
social significance of the Vee Bissa
Bissa was held with high regard in ancient society as it was a clear indication
of a person’s wealth and influence. The number of Vee Bissas owned by a person
was taken into consideration in marriage proposals as well.
technology of the Vee Bissa
rituals are followed when setting up a Vee Bissa. It was set up at the entrance
of the house away from the backyard and lavatories, avoiding places with high
humidity or constant water seepage. A well-lit and dry place is the ideal
location for setting up a Vee Bissa.
materials needed to set up a Vee Bissa were collected from their surroundings
and the immediate jungle. Every step in the process of setting up a Vee Bissa
assured the preservation of the quality of paddy seeds.
Vee Bissa is supported by four columns made of stone or wood. The base is
lifted a few meters above the ground to avoid any contact with soil and water
that may affect the paddy. The body of the Vee Bissa is made from a special
type of clay derived from anthills. Once these layers of clay dry up, cow dung
is then coated along the inside of the Vee Bissa to prevent insects from
feeding on the paddy. Red anthill clay was commonly used due to its sticky
nature and high porosity. This clay dries up faster when compared with other
clay types and does not cause cracks. The dry clay does not absorb water
readily. The stored paddy receives ventilation through the tiny pores present in the clay and the oval shape facilitates uniform ventilation throughout the Vee
Bissa. The Vee Bissa is covered with a Piyassa
which protects the seeds by preventing water from entering into it while also
providing shade to the Vee Bissa. This prevents the paddy from being affected
farmers would use leaves from trees such as Kaduru
Gediya, Nika, Kukuru Mana, Kalaval and lime to keep away insects, thereby acting as an organic
layer of Margosa leaves would be spread out over the top layer of paddy once the
Vee Bissa is filled up to protect it from harmful insects.
from storing paddy for consumption, farmers also stored them for cultivation purposes. The germination power of paddy seeds are well
protected in a Vee Bissa.
importance of the Vee Bissa
present, farmers are faced with many problems concerning the storage of paddy.
These problems were never encountered by ancient and traditional farmers as the
Vee Bissa allowed them to store paddy for extended periods without it getting
is no equipment or technology today that can match up to the Vee Bissa in terms
of being able to preserve the germination power of paddy. Today’s farmers use storage
compartments made of cement when storing paddy, however it is doubtful if they
are capable of protecting the germination power as efficiently as a Vee Bissa.