BEKASI, Indonesia, Nov 1 (Reuters) – 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.
In a nation that experiences sudden monsoon downpours for months each year, these rain shamans are often hired to keep weddings, concerts, and even government events rain-free.
“In principle we work without changing nature. Instead we fortify the area where the event is,” said Ki Joko, 57, staring up at a patch of ominous gray…