The “calling for wind and rain” ritual, known as cầu đảo, was a key means through which the Nguyễn court in nineteenth-century Vietnam sought to regulate rainfall and alleviate the effects of natural disasters. Despite their prevalence and importance, cầu đảo rituals have received little scholarly attention, and the court’s engagement with the environment has not figured prominently in previous understandings of the Nguyễn dynasty. Drawing on a range of sources, including official court histories, the letters of French missionaries and provincial gazetteers, this article examines cầu đảo practices in Vietnam between 1802 and 1883 and explores the complex relationship between the environment, emotion, and royal governance.

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