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Notes on the Geography of Indonesia: Bali Again: Photo 44

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Some of the shrines are very simple, but some of the paddies are complicated, demanding almost constant labor to protect the walls or bunds.

Another impressed outsider, even earlier than Krause, was Frederick Liefrinck (1853-1927), a Dutch official with many years of experience on Bali. In the 1880s, well before the Dutch administration went into high gear, a young Liefrinck wrote at length about the Balinese economy. He admired the skill of Balinese farmers but also the society that allowed it to flourish, a society that was cooperative but which also recognized private property. He writes, for example, "I hope this commentary will convey to the reader, at least in some measure, my own impression that the explanation of the amazingly high standard of rice cultivation in Bali is to be found in Montesquieu's conclusion that 'the yield of the soil depends less on its richness than on the degree of freedom enjoyed by those who till it."

At another point he writes, "The energy and determination displayed by the Balinese in surmounting so many difficulties can be ascribed mainly to the certainty every sawah owner has that the fruits of his labour will be enjoyed solely by himself and his descendants. (P. 40.) (Most of Liefrinck's writings remain untranslated from the Dutch. These quotations come from an exception, "Rice Cultivation in Northern Bali," included in Bali: Further Studies in Life, Thought, and Ritual, edited by J. van Baal and others, The Hague, 1969).

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