Saturday, 21 July 2012

How to make Canang Sari

"Canang Sari" are the traditional offerings which are made by  Balinese women every morning in every Hindu household. Making these hand sized baskets seemed to be a beautiful way to start the day. The weaving and gathering of ingredients is a quiet, reflective process and a genuine form of giving thanks. The ritual offerings are usually made of young yellow coconut leaves, flowers, food and incense. 

My daughter relished the opportunity to learn how to create these amazing sacred works of art. The flowers can be easily found in any Balinese morning market.

Step 1: Making a frame:
Gather together the supple young coconut leaves. Fold one frond/leaf into four even lengths about 10cm long. Using a short length of thin bamboo (sharpened at one end like a needle) "sew" each corner into place. Some women I noticed are now using staples for this part of the process. Make a "floor" by measuring the base exactly, using two lengths of palm frond. The base should sit neatly into the frame.

Step 2: (Optional decorative flower):
Fix another palm frond in the middle with a sharpened bamboo end. Loop pieces of palm frond back into the center, to form a flower pattern. We also sliced each frond to make it even more detailed (see below). Place the flower inside the square basket.

Step 3: Filling the basket:
Take the flowers and place with appreciation in each corner of the basket to represent five elements - earth, water, fire, air and ether (central postition). Peacefully place the offering in a sacred space as an act of mindul thankfulness.

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