Sembahyang statue

Wooden figurine of a Balinese woman in worship, height: 31 cm

I bought this unsigned female figurine for a low price on Marktplaats. It’s not a high quality wood carving: the feet for instance (difficult to carve) are tucked away under the clothes that are “draped” over the plinth. But the well-struck contemplative posture and facial expression make up for that. Moreover, the statue is in a mint condition without any damages.

She’s depicted in the typical Balinese prayer position with a frangipani flower between her fingertips, making an offering to the gods. Sacrifice is an important activity in Bali. It starts early in the morning when women make small offerings in front of their homes to please the gods. This continues throughout the day.

The prayer in the form of a flower greeting is called Sembahyang. This word consists of two parts: sembah (bow, prayer gesture) and hyang (the one who is revered). The prayers are directed to Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, the supreme being in Balinese Hinduism.

Read more about Balinese flower offerings in my Canang Sari post.

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