most striking element of the Balinese landscape, sawah
are receding man-made terraces of rice paddy. Balinese work
these flights of gigantic stairs carved into the mountain
walls in an age-old system that has proven to be more efficient
than other modern methods of cultivation. Water is distributed
by an elaborate system of canals, dams, bamboo pipes and
even tunnels cut through solid rock. Subaks,
communal agricultural associations, control the equitable
distribution of water, settle disputes and police the dams.
From planting to harvest, the growth of rice is closely
monitored and various stages of development are marked by
ceremonies and ritual feasts. Dewi Sri,
the goddess of agriculture, blesses the hardworking Balinese
who live in harmony with the land and with each other.