Balitraveldiary.com – The subak system has become one of the uniqueness of the Province of Bali. The irrigation system that developed under the influence of these strong Hindu teachings became a form of local wisdom that made farming communities compatible with nature to obtain optimal yields.
Subak has also gained recognition from international agricultural experts. One of them was from John S. Amber (1990) who recognized subak as the principle of superior and advanced irrigation management. Even this agricultural irrigation system has remained sustainable in the culture of rural communities in Bali for centuries and continues to this day.
In the study of history, it is estimated that the subak system has been known by the Balinese since the 11th century AD. This opinion is based on the findings of the King Purana Klungkung Inscription (994 Saka / 1072 AD) which mentions the word “kasuwakara”, which is thought to be the origin of the word “suwak”, which later developed into “subak”.
Another historical source is Lontar Markandeya Purana. In the text that tells the origin of the village and the Besakih Temple there is a story about agriculture, irrigation, and subak. This indicates the existence of Subak has existed since before the Besakih Temple was founded by Resi Markandeya in the early 11th century AD.
Subak is a non-governmental system that functions to regulate the distribution of irrigation flow that irrigates each plot of rice fields. This system is managed in groups and stratified with the division of roles specific to each of its members.
In subak organizations, there are several devices known. The instruments in subak are pekaseh (subak leader), petajuh (pekaseh representative), withdrawal (clerk), petengen (mercury), kasinoman (courier), and several others. In addition, there are known sub-groups consisting of 20-40 farmers called munduk, chaired by a pengliman.
In addition to the structural system, Subak also has a specificity in terms of rituals that take place in it. In subak, there are known rituals that apply individually and group rituals (munduk / tempek and subak levels).
Individual rituals include beating (done when first hoeing), ngawiwit (when farmers sow seeds), mamula (when planting), shade (when rice is 1 month to avoid disease), binkunkung (when rice begins to contain), nyangket (when planting) harvest), and manteni (when rice is stored in a granary). At the tempek / munduk level, known as group rituals such as mapag toya, mecaru, and ngusaba.