Deadly beauty from the island of Bali: exquisite carved skulls.
Such souvenirs are not for the faint-hearted, but nevertheless, the intricacy of the ornaments and the finesse of the craftsmanship are simply breathtaking!
Balinese people are renowned worldwide as skilled craftsmen. Practical arts are passed down from generation to generation here, and the elaborate creations of local artisans astonish people from all around the world.
One of the traditional crafts in Bali is carving. The ancestors of modern Balinese people spent their time while waiting for the next harvest season by engaging in carving on wood, stone, and bone. Materials like bones and horns, coconuts, seashells, and much more were used. However, one of the main materials then and now remains the skulls of cows and water buffaloes.
In addition to cow skulls, a variety of animal heads are used here. Here is a horse skull.
Mountain goat skull.
Wild boar skull.
Modern bone carvers have preserved the traditions of intricate carving and a careful approach to the material. Skulls in their hands transform into genuine works of art
To prepare an animal head for work, the master boils it for a long time, removing cartilage so that no piece of flesh remains on the bones. After this, the bone is whitened using special chemical compounds, and then the engraving and carving process begins, which can last for hours.
Bone carving is a complete art, magnificent and terrifying at the same time. It reflects the mystical reverence of the ancestors of modern Balinese people towards death.
The finest carved creations from Bali are renowned worldwide. These works exhibit incredible filigree craftsmanship. The motifs are primarily linked to the local religion, a blend of Hinduism and Buddhism.