People of Bali
The Balinese were not able to develop and sustain their extremely
complex agricultural economy for centuries on end without a very
organized community structure. The basis of this community structure
is the Subak and the Banjar. Everyone who owns a rice paddy must
join the Subak in their village. The Subak controls who will plant
rice and when (plantings are staggered so that pestilence is minimized).
As well and more importantly the Subak ensures that all farmers
receive their fair share of irrigation water since traditionally
the head the Subak was the farmer whose field was at the bottom
of the hill and water first had to pass through everybody else's
field before it was allowed to irrigate his.
The other important community structure, the Banjar, organizes all
other aspects of Balinese life (i.e. marriages, cremations, community
service, festivals and the like). When a man marries he is expected
to join the village Banjar and must participate in community affairs.
Meetings are held at a large open air building called the Bale Banjar.