The origin of Rice Cultivation in Bali 2017.11.14

Philhill Photography

Photo by: philhill photography

The origin of the rice cultivation in Bali has been known in the earliest nine centuries. Rice is one of the major agricultural products in Bali. It is also the main diet for Balinese. Rice terrace in Bali also becomes the main attractions for travelers to visit. Wherever you go to rice terrace in Bali, you might see Bamboo shrine with offerings.

The Balinese are very religious. Offerings are usually used to begin to do something, including to plant rice. For this purpose, a temporary bamboo shrine may be built where "Dewi Sri" Goddess of Agriculture are offered with offerings consisting of fruits, rice, cakes decorated with flowers of many varieties and so on.

At the same time, travelers who visit the rice terrace are wondering how is the rice cultivation in Bali. Check out our today’s post and get the ideas of it.  

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Photo by : Donald Metzner

1. Burnt rice stubbles: Before the field is ploughed and hoed, the grass and rice stubbles are burnt to fertilize the soil. Afterward the field is flooded considerably. 

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Photo by :maxdarn

2. Rice nursery: At the same time the farmer has planned rice seeds at the adjacent nursery. After the seeds are of about 25 to 40 days of age, then they are transplanted to the field prepared. 

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3. Ploughing hoeing: The field is flooded regularly and ploughed and hoed again and again till the soil is finely chopped and turned up and down several times. 

4. Cows dragging wooden bar: The preparation of the soil is continued. It is then worked into a smooth mud, being levelled by dragging a heavy wooden bar pulled by usually a pair of cows of buffaloes across the field vice versa for a number of required rotations. 

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Photo by: lumixaward2010

5. Men planting rice: A number of men sometimes women too are planting the rice shoots, brought from the adjacent nursery, where the seeds have been sprouted. Without the aids of strings or measuring devices, each seedling is precisely placed next to each other, neither too close nor too far. 

6. Men weeding when rice is young and it is green: After the rice are planted, the field is carefully weeded in the first few weeks and throughout the growth of the rice. After the rice is one or two months of age, the weeding is done by using an appropriate tool with a long wooden or bamboo pole. 

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7. Men spraying: The plants are regularly irrigated and controlled and sprayed with insecticides and pesticides. This must be seriously done because sometimes there are sudden attack made by rice destructive insects. 

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Phot by : SierraSunrise

8. Rice Grain: As the grain begins to develop heads, the farmer is obliged to install or construct an elaborate system to keep the birds especially the rice birds away. 

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Photo by : Kazu Letokyoite

9. Noise maker: Bamboo pole stacked in the middle of the field which is full of beautiful yellow grains. The pool is connected with many strings to special guard shelter and decorated with many flags of different colors. 

10. Guard shelter: Apart from that, the "wind driven noise maker" is also equipped with bells. When the wind comes, it produces noises which should be able to scare the birds away. The farmer who guards his crops pull the string frequently and shouts hard. 

11. Scare crow: In addition to that scare crow, a human shape or demonic look object is also used for the same purpose. 

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12. Farmer rounding the field: As the crop ripens the farmer guards his field around the clock to protect them from not only birds but also from mice, insects, etc. 

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13. People harvesting rice:  The crop is harvested with the spirit "Gotong Royong" meaning mutual help of friends, relatives or the Harvesting Association known as "Sekehe Manyi".

14. People carrying rice bundles:  Once all rice is cut and gathered into bundles, then they are carried to the farmer's rice barn to be stored for years. 

 



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