the phrase "life is an offering" was painted on the side of a building somewhere between Kuta and Ubud. it caught my eye on our very first day and, in that moment, i knew we were someplace very special.. i couldn't wait to understand more. when you arrive in Bali, it doesn't take long before you realize how devoted the Balinese are to their spiritual beliefs. i was fascinated with these beautiful prayer offerings so intricately created on a daily basis. i had never seen anything quite like them. the woman in the photographs makes about 120 every day to share with her family and community. she so patiently taught me how to make one.. saying "one more, one more" for each strip of banana leaf i had to gently twist and stitch in place. she made it look so easy!
you see these offerings placed pretty much everywhere at any time of day. in the mornings, women will bring prayer offerings to the family temples, which are always located in the corner of the family compound nearest Mount Agung, where the gods live. offerings on the ground are meant to appease the demons. in the Balinese culture, it is all about a balance between good and evil.
here's a snapshot of me learning to make a Balinese prayer offering, however clumsy i might have been :)
All Images Copyright 2011 Teri Genovese Photography. May not be used, posted, or published without consent.