Pemuteran, which means ‘come back to you’, is a small fishing village with a population of approximately 8000 people. It is one of the driest parts of Bali. The people, mostly fishermen, were moved to Pemuteran from a village called Seraya, in a relocation project arranged by the government after the disastrous volcano eruption in 1963 when Gunung Agung erupted in the east of Bali. Over the last 10 years tourism has slowly developed and now provides a haven for tourists from the hectic scenes of the south of Bali.
The community is primarily Hindu, but there is a Muslim community here as well. A unique occurrence in the Hindu religion ceremonies found here in Pemuteran, is the Dewa Ayu Trance dance done in the local Hindu ceremonies. Also, a unique cultural practice here is the Megebug ceremony, which is a type of ‘fighting dance’ that is performed by the men of Pemuteran, in periods when the rainy season arrives later than normal, to entice the rain to come.
Chris Brown, the founder of Reef Seen, was the first foreigner to settle in Pemuteran back in 1991. Through education of the importance of the villages’ natural marine resources and the initiation of Reef Gardeners of Pemuteran and Pemuteran Environment and Community Trust, the local people pride themselves on environmental sustainability.