Bakul Siah

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Fujian in China , Early 20th century

In the peranakan culture, Gou Da Li or betrothal ceremony is usually held 2 until 4 weeks before an actual wedding ceremony. During this ceremony the groom and the matchmaker visit the bride’s family and formally introduce himself and his family.

 

 

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This richly decorated bakul siah was used in an elaborate wedding ritual 

At this ceremony, the groom offers the bride a variety of gifts that represent good fortune. These gifts were placed in a container called “Bakul Siah” which literally means auspicious basket.

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sparrow symbolizes happiness

Back in the good old days, the best bakul siahs were imported from Fujian, China. These black and gilded baskets were richly decorated with auspicious symbols.

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Butterfly symbolizes love
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Bamboo symbolizes virtue

In this modern era, Peranakan bride and groom are still using bakul siah for the Guo Da Li ritual, but unlike an antique bakul siah, the design of the newer bakul siah is much simpler and the colors are predominantly red and black.

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