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A job with metaphysical powers

Floro Mercene

Pawang hujan (rain shamans) are widely believed to posses supernatural power to control the weather, especially, to prevent rain from coming down. Rain shaman is able to manipulate rain, either stall the rain or redirect it to another area. It is a unique profession, and is very popular in Indonesia and Malaysia. They are in heavy demand during the rainy season. Using their services is as common as renting the sound system for a concert. It is a regular expense for anyone planning international sports tournaments, music festivals or any outdoor events. Wedding organizers often use their services, and the fee is included in the wedding package.

Different pawang hujan use different tools and materials in their work. Some prefer to keep things mystical, using various offerings and mystical prayers. Others keep it simple, just meditate and use mind powers. In the past, Tour De Linggarjati, an International cycling race through West Java, the organizer deployed pawang hujan at three locations. Bandung Football Club employed three pawang hujan, who meditated for three days without food, water or a shower. Both events were dry.

On some other occasions, the dark storm clouds gathering overhead but, for whatever reason, the clouds refused to break. A rain shaman sometimes cannot prevent the rain from falling but it might have been a downpour if he is not there. One of the contracts stated that if the rain persists for more than 25 minutes, he will not be paid for his services on that day.

In Colombia, there was an investigation why organizers paid a “shaman” $2,000 to keep rain away from the closing ceremony of the Fifa U-20 World Cup held in 2011. The event’s organizers defended their decision to use a shaman, noting that the final event was indeed rain-free.