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.
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.