Ethnic Jewels

An appreciation of ethnic jewellery and adornment

Balinese Offering Bowl

The bowl consists of three pieces: bowl base, cover and spire. I do not know how old it is (probably not very old). It is carved from local Balinese wood. It is unlike other offering bowls that I have seen, so if anyone has seen another like this, please let me know!

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Comment by Edith D on August 26, 2017 at 2:48

Glad you also found it interesting.  This is not the typical offering bowl, which is why I am curious if anyone else has seen one like this.  However, I came to the conclusion that the bowl is designed to make offerings based upon all the religious symbolism incorporated into the piece.  One can see the same symbolism in the architecture of the temples.  Here are some photos of more typical offering bowls.

Comment by Thelma on August 25, 2017 at 16:09

Hi Edith, thanks for the explanation. It's amazing how much we miss and how little we understand about these objects when we simply see them as interesting objects.

Comment by Edith D on August 20, 2017 at 14:07

Oh, and I almost forgot...there are 5 sets of lotus leaves on the spire, probably representing the 5 peaks of Meru, a mystical mountain range!

Comment by Edith D on August 20, 2017 at 14:05

The iconography on this piece is very interesting, and reflects the merging of Buddhist and Hindu imagery.  If one views the bowl in plan, it is shaped like a mandala.  This bowl looks like a specific type of mandala called the Sri Charka.  The spire is comprised of nested lotus flowers.  The base of the flower has 8 petals (representing the 8 paths to enlightenment in Buddhism, but also in Hinduism).  The dome of the bowl cover resembles a stupa, which is a representation of the heavens.  On this bowl cover, the handles are carved with cloud motifs to emphasize the heavenly reference.

Here is the view from the top.

Comment by Edith D on August 20, 2017 at 13:54

A photo with the spire removed.

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