This Legend of Ponnivala video clip describes an age-old dilemma: what to do when an ecological catastrophe such as severe drought settles on the land? This is a common problem that has plagued people and civilizations around the world as far back as collective memories can reach. Of course archaeological research shows that this problem is far older still, and has occurred many, many times. Sometimes the lack of rain is relatively localized. But in past eras where the long distance transportation of food was minimal due to poor roads or trails and limited carrying capacity, even a localized dry spell lasting several years could create real hardship. This is the tragic situation that befell the farmer-hero Kollatta and his wife Ariyanacci in the Ponnivala story. In such situations people depended on rumour. Where had the rains been better? Where could they go to survive and to avoid a localized, life-threatening famine?