What is a function of a scarecrow? Well, the answer is quite easy. It is to keep birds away from human crops. Birds consume our crops and caused loss to farmers. That’s why farmers in Indonesia, like also their colleagues in other parts of the world, put a frightening “figure” in the middle of the field to make sure no birds will ever come close and eat their crops.
How frightening should a scarecrow be to scare birds? Honestly, that’s I don’t know. I am not a bird and can’t give any definite answer.
So, may I ask for your opinion? Will a figure like shown on the above photo be enough to drive out birds from our crops?
The figure on the photo is given a name as “Bebegig“, a scarecrow in Sundanese language commonly used in West Java Province, Indonesia. This one came from Ciamis, a city in Southern part of the province.
What I think? Frankly speaking, I will run away immediately if I meet this bebegig in a cemetery at night, especially if I am alone at that time.
Luckily, I saw it in with thousands of people attending CGM Bogor Street Festival in the Cap Go Meh Festival. So, instead of running off from this creature, I tried to come closer to get better pictures.
This frightening ” creature” was not so scary because it was just a costume worn by a man to attract people attention. Groups of creative people made it as a representation of arts and culture from the city, Ciamis.
It is doubtful the scarecrow like this can be found in the rice fields in Ciamis, or any other places in West Java and Indonesia. Too expensive and too difficult to make.
Besides, I am uncertain that this scarecrow can get birds off from crops. Too heavy to be moved which may not make it suitable to do the scarecrow job. No matters how frightening a scarecrow, if it can not move, then it won’t scary any birds
Birds are not afraid of form or shape of the scarecrow. They will just run away if there is a movement that cause them to think predators are near them.
However, this “bebegig”, a scarecrow from Ciamis, Indonesia did another job much better than just frightening birds. It successfully attracted attention of crowds of thousands of people in Suryakencana street, Bogor, during the festival.