Pacu Jawi Sumatra

Hands down this past weekend was the best photographic experience of my life.  I took my family to Sumatra to see the not-so-well-known rice harvest festival called Pacu Jawi, way up in the hills in west Sumatra.  It’s an event where after the rice has been harvested the farmers are left with empty, muddy paddy’s.  So naturally they do what anyone would do with a lot of mud and cows… they play in them.

It is pretty much as dangerous as it seems.  And actually the people that were the most at-risk of getting hurt were the photographers like myself.  We were standing literally where the cows wanted to run.  The cows seemed to run in a slightly different direction every time.  One photographer got plowed over and he and his Nikon D4 ($6000) and 800mm lens ($15000) went into the mud.  I’m sure they were insured… or at least I hope they were.

The event itself lasts for about 4 hours and they have hundreds of cows racing down the mud pit.  There are only a few riders so they really get a workout.  From what I can gather from some of the people I talked to is that it travels around the area to 4 different villages and happens for 4 consecutive weekends starting in early March and ending in early April.

Hit me up if you want any details, it took me months to find information about the event… it’s not like the build a website for it.

I took over 600 photos so I will probably post my favorites throughout the week.  I’ll start with these two.

                                               Please do me a favor and make someone else smile by sharing this post.  



6 Responses to “Pacu Jawi Sumatra”

  1. Doorway | Rick's Photography Blog

    […] neighbor.  I only had three photo left on my memory card after taking 600 the day before at the Pacu Jawi event.  I used one of them on this woman and the other two on group photos of everyone […]


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