This introductory chapter begins by discussing the historical background of smoke and fire, describing the African primitive purposes of fire such as a crop enhancement, fertility charm, and a sign for a bountiful harvest. It identifies the treatment of seeds with heat and smoke prior to sowing as a source of increased number of sprouts, good seed quality, and seed vigor as shown by the early accounts of Gabriel Sagard and Modi. It provides an exposition on certain smoke-responding seed varieties in the parts of Australia and in the Mediterranean region.
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