Terraced Rice Fields

The 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.

Tegallalang, Gianyar, Bali

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