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Home » Ritual and Ceremony

The Art of Making Offering  

by on Monday, 18 May 2009One Comment | 1,930 views


Offering, for Balinese, are the most visible and important part of their religious activities. It gives a unique characteristic to Balinese’s religious practices, something that unmistakably Balinese. The offering (banten) is usually made from woven young coconut leaves as container and for the contents are fruits, flowers, leaves, betel vine, cakes, and Chinese coin or some money. There are hundreds kinds of offerings range from a simplest one which take only a couple of minutes in making to the the most elaborate one which takes months of preparation and making.

The task of making offering is usually Balinese women prerogative. Balinese women usually together hand in hand to prepare the offering, and the art of offering making is transferred down from grandmother to mother then to granddaughter, from generation to generation.

Making Offering

But nowadays, the number of people who master the art of offering making are dominate by elder Balinese women, the younger generations (10 to 40 years old) have little knowledge of offering making. This lack of knowledge in offering making is caused by various factors such as, more and more Balinese women, nowadays, are not just housewives; many of them work in the offices or running business enterprises or working in the informal sector outside the house, they simply do not have enough time to study the art of offering making. The other factor is the growing trend of buying offering from offering specialists. Balinese who work in tourism business, private or government offices are prefer to use the service of offering specialist since most of them do knot know how to make an offering or simply do not have time to do so.


The art of offering making, especially in urban area, becomes an art that is mastered only by elder generations. The lack of re-generation of the offering makers and stagnancy of knowledge transfer from elder generations to younger ones make the situation turn from bad to worst. I hope the younger generation of Balinese will put more attenion on the art of offering making so it will not dissapeared in the future.

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