07 October 2013

Bali - the amazing coconut tree (2)

Not only does the coconut have many names at each of its developmental stages, the leaves also get their names depending on the color phase.

The young yellow leaves that grow at the top are called busung in Balinese, and the more mature green ones are called slepan. The yellow of the busung give it the impression of softness and exclusivity.

Busung are used for ketupat rice cake weavings, decorations, penjor bamboo pole ornamentation's and canang flower offering frames that are later topped off with colorful flowers. The slepan is used as the offering’s base, as the harder texture makes it withstand longer storage. The green coconut leaves can be woven and used as roofing. The weaving's are called klangsah. Since many came to use in tiles and metal roofing, the woven roofings are only reserved for very simple housing or small rice field shelter boxes.

Dried coconut leaves aren’t hastily disposed of as the spines can still be collected for flexible and highly effective brooms. The fruit stems or danyuh can be used for various handicrafts or simply as fuel for cooking fires. Although currently the Indonesian government has aggressively urged the people to use LPG gas stoves, many still cook using fire stoves. The coconut tree trunks are of high economical value also. Since the early days they have been used for building material and recently the majority used in knockdown gazebos that are exported overseas. Due to its multifunctional properties, the coconut is highly regarded among the people. The Balinese consider it the symbol of life and fertility. With the progress of ages, many traditional tools have now been replaced by metallic or plastic items. Yet this does not necessarily replace the overall functions of the coconut. It still remains important and has a special place in the hearts of the local
community.

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