Altered farming image by J.A. Pellion from Freycinet’s Voyage Autour du Monde (Paris, 1824). Original image courtesy of the Guam Public Library System.

Early historic accounts about the Marianas say rice was produced in large quantities in pre-Spanish times. It was used as a commodity for trade between islands and later, with the Europeans to obtain metal and other goods. The CHamorus were the only Pacific Island people known to have cultivated rice dating back to pre-contact times.