Covid-19 stops raining on shamans’ parades

Lifestyle

Covid-19 stops raining on shamans’ parades

Indonesia’s rain-averting ‘pawang hujans’ are back in business after the country eased pandemic restrictions

Heru Asprihanto and Adi Kurniawan

Seated cross-legged amid a fog of incense and platters of fragrant offerings, dishes of red chillies, garlic bulbs and frangipani petals, Indonesian shaman Ki Joko Sapu-Jagat prepares at home the night before his first day back on the job.

After a months-long interruption, Indonesia’s rain shamans, who conduct ceremonies to keep rain away, are back in business, with large-scale events now permitted under eased coronavirus restrictions.

While many might be sceptical, several Indonesians believe in the ability of these “pawang hujan”, or “rain-diviners”, to control the weather...

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