Monday, 30 August 2010

My Work: The Salt Maker of Kusamba

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

A few days before the start of the Bali: Island of Odalan Photo~Expedition ™ , I drove to the eastern shores of the island to photograph the traditional salt making in Kusamba.

I spent a couple of hours with Dewa Yoman Sanat; a traditional salt-maker (or more accurately, salt gatherer) in Kusamba. He guesses his age to be close to 70, and he works at gathering salt everyday under the scorching sun. On cloudy and rainy days, he remains home as a hot sun is needed to evaporate the seawater which leaves a thin film of salt, which is then gathered by Dewa.

He and his wife, Jero Sekar, who also helps him in this back-breaking work, have 7 grand children...none are understandably interested in continuing the salt making tradition. Dewa said that he gets about Rp 5000 (about 50 cents) for every 10 kilograms of salt.