Indonesia Shared

1.11.09

SUBAK


One unique organization in Bali is he association of Subak which has the function of bring the distribution of water evenly and appropriately among their members. The member of he subak association are those who own land needs water supply to grow rice. Depending on the capacity of water supply, the number of the member are varies from one association to another. The name of this association is " Sekaa Subak", which is cross border of traditional organization which is already exist such as banjar or desa or even formal border set by modern government of Indonesia. Every subak organization is an independence organization autonomous in their administration, in case land owner has 2 plots of land and each belong to different subak organization, then he/she must enters 2 membership.

The source of water is taken from river which is splinted deep in inner part of Bali or high land. the expert of water canalling has been able to asses how to measure the gravitation level so as when the water flows reaching the rice field it is exactly as planned although some higher land might do not get water. The long way of canal sometimes has to pass difficult areas which is impossible to dig open canal. For example when crossing high and deep ravines, steep drop high hills and others. In this situation a canal must be dug as subway which is to often a subway can not be made directly on surface but must be under the soil It is amazing that the subway canal expert of subak since ancient time has developed their still what traditional tools that hey can dig subway canal with many turnings under soil and still can exactly arrive at the appointed spot. The technique of digging subway canal is not always worked from one side, but to often from both sides of a ride or crossing mountain, which is according to our assumption they will experience hard way to meet each other underground. but in most cases they did. When the water flows reaching the area where the subak members land a unique traditional way of distributing water evenly is made called " Tembuku ". At first the volume of the water is counted and theatrically distributed to all members. Then after the figure of each member is found, normally with centi meter, then made a divider by wood ( today mostly renewed with concrete ) to flow the amount of the water per minute. Each member of the subak further bound by the obligation of maintaining water canals from their dam to the main canal and dam plus worship of the temple called " Pura Bedbug" or " Pura Elating" Indeed the organization of sub ak is a separate jurisdiction from the traditional organization of settlement of Banjar and Desa which is by Arab word called " Ad at", then on the writing of western observers called " adapt law " As a co-ordination between the organization of sub ak with their government of Indonesia representative is maintained at the level of local government called " Pekaseh " This representative would work on various relations such as land administration relating to traditional law, fund assistance from government if any, ana any other recommendation from both sides.

The subak organization is headed by a chairman called Kelian subak, who lead the member in establishing the subak order from type of infringements and its sanction to the schedule of rituals and subak temple maintenance. The power of worldly rules and sanctions are given the special ritual to enforce the power of the rules, that is will not only wordily punishment falls on person who has acted against the consent, but also the power of invisible being that will punish the actions. This means that although an action is not detected by human being due to the tricky way of member to steel the water beyond his quota, then the punishment will go on by spiritual guardian of god who reside subak temple. This double sanctions have been very successful in maintaining the quality of water distribution, although during the driest season where the volume of water drops to the lowest supply. In the past during the opening of irrigation which was followed by a ritual of thank at subak temple it might be followed by oaths and curses which prevents the offence of the members consent.

Bali tour program which can give a glimpse look on a distribution of water for irrigation can be joined such as tour program to Jatiluwih rice terrace and Batukaru temple a tour program to the center west of Bali where the organization of subak has been very successfully and known as the rice granary of Bali. During the tour to Besakih Temple also can stop some where on the way, as on the way dan still be seen rice terraces with beautiful views, but not as good as those on west central Bali. When visiting Tanah Lot Temple also can see also the distribution of water, the tembuku, yet need to walk from the main road to deeper area where the rice field still maintained very well. A special subak and irrigation tour can be arranged also on special request combined with Bali farming activities at Krambitan village.

Source: http://www.balitouring.com

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