Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Basket Weaving

Release date: 26 June 2018

On Home Island, in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the local Cocos Malay population still engages in traditional basket weaving, known as keroso. Round, rectangular, boat-shaped and cylindrical baskets are created using palm leaves. The baskets were traditionally used for storage and transportation of flowers, fruit and bait, and for drying fish and coconut shells. Today, they are often used around the home as a form of storage for household items. Public weaving sessions are also conducted as part of cultural tours of the island.

In addition to baskets, serving mats are woven for the presentation of food, and small woven parcels known as ketupat are used for cooking glutinous rice. The ketupat are made using the young inner fronds of the palm leaves. A delicious rice dish, found at most Cocos Malay feasts, is made by pushing a mixture of mung beans and glutinous rice into the woven parcels and cooking them in coconut milk.

The stamps

Designed by Sonia Young from the Australia Post Design Studio, the stamps feature photographs by Cara Ratajczak (keroso) and Peter Wicks (ketupat).

$1 Woven rice parcels, ketupat

This stamp design uses photographs to show the process of making woven rice parcels, as well as the final product.

$1 Basket weaving, keroso (hanging basket)

This stamp design showcases the process of making a basket, as well as an example of the end result – a hanging basket. We can see the progression from younger, fresh green palm leaves to the dried straw-coloured basket.

$2 Basket weaving, keroso (round basket)

This stamp design showcases the process of making a basket, as well as an example of the end result – this time, a round basket.

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Set of stamps

Minisheet

Gutter strip 10 x $1

Gutter strip 10 x $2

Additional products

  • Minisheet
  • First day cover (blank, gummed, minisheet)

Technical specifications

  • Issue date

    26 June 2018
  • FDI withdrawal date

    25 July 2018
  • Denominations

    2 x $1, 1 x $2
  • Stamp design

    Sonia Young
  • Product design

    Sonia Young
  • Printer

    RA Printing
  • Paper

    Tullis Russell
  • Stamp size

    37.5mm x 26mm
  • Minisheet size

    135mm x 80mm
  • Printing process

    Offset lithography.
  • Perforations

    13.86 x 14.6
  • FDI postmark

    Cocos (Keeling) Islands WA 6799
  • Sheet layout

    Module of 25
  • Issue withdrawal date

    31 December 2018
*This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.

Philatelic team