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Jakarta Post

The powerful rain men of Bali

  • Trisha Sertori


KARANGASEM   /   Fri, May 8 2009   /  01:22 pm

Rain, rain, go away: With the tools of his trade, Made Rai prays for clear skies – and gets them. JP/J.B. Djwan Bali's spirit world is alive and well, traveling into the future alongside instant communications, Mars probes and moon tourism. In modern Bali no major event is left to the risk of a wash out in the wet season; events here are still under the protective umbrella of the rain men of Bali, the pawang hujan. Faith in rainmakers is nothing new. Many traditional societies including Native Americans and Australia's indigenous populations depended on the power of their rainmakers to ensure enough rain to flower harsh landscapes with the fruits, roots and vegetables needed for survival. In the lushness of Bali's tropical conditions, it was the reverse: This ancient society counted on their pawang hujan to glide gray clouds away so the important aspects of...