Balinese beruk craft offers cultural, economic potential

Beruk craft made from coconut shells is not only a cultural heritage that needs to be preserved, but also has economic potential since it enjoys strong demand, both domestically and internationally.

I Gede Suryawan, a beruk craftsman from Banjarangkan, Klungkung District, Bali, who showcased his products at the 44th Bali Arts Festival, held from June 12 to July 10, 2022, revealed that many Balinese people and tourism accommodation business players have been ordering beruk and other handicraft products made from coconut shells.

"In the past, the main function of beruk was as a tool to draw water. However, over time, beruk with modifications could be used as a pot for water, such as for nunas tirta (a religious activity), cups, and so on," Suryawan, who started his business in 1996, said in Denpasar on Tuesday.

He also teaches coconut shell craft-making in Bali and even other provinces.

"In Bali, I have previously taught in Jembrana, Tabanan, and Nusa Penida. The hope is that with more and more people who (make beruk), it will not be difficult when there is an increase in demand. Currently, coconut shell artisans are still focusing on Klungkung District," he said.

Before the pandemic, Suryawan said he also accepted orders from Poland, the Czech Republic, the United States, and Japan.

"The majority of foreign (customers) are interested in the bowl-shaped one, the delivery (of the products) is around 12 thousand–15 thousand pieces per month," he said.

According to him, making crafts from coconut shells does not require expensive equipment as the tools needed include fiber peelers, a tool to gouge coconuts, sandpaper, and a machine to cut coconut and form patterns.

Source: Antara News