People seeking wild yams scan the treetops looking for the characteristic heart-shaped leaves. Then they trace the vine to the ground and dig down the stem until they reach the tubers. Takop (Dioscorea orbiculata), the most commonly found species, may have several tubers on each stem. Diggers follow each tuber as it winds its way underground, bringing up pieces of tuber with each thrust of the digging stick. Some tubers are several feet long. Here a woman digs while carrying her baby in a cloth sling on her back. She uses a digging stick with a small shovel blade, which is obtained in trade. A pile of tuber pieces lies beside the hole (foreground).
Endicott Image Collection
Tuber crops -- Malaysia -- Kelantan., Batek (Malaysian people) -- Implements., Terong River (Malay)