Sumita Village

Sumita Village

A Carving Village in Gianyar That Exports Pavilion Carvings Sumita village in Gianyar, is famous for its wood carving products. Local carvers have a lot of imagination that makes their products very distinctive with their motifs often consisting of small reliefs. Their floral ornamentatin is soft and alive. It is no surprise that people form

A Carving Village in Gianyar That Exports Pavilion Carvings

Sumita village in Gianyar, is famous for its wood carving products. Local carvers have a lot of imagination that makes their products very distinctive with their motifs often consisting of small reliefs. Their floral ornamentatin is soft and alive. It is no surprise that people form all over Bali, Indonesia and the world, often order their wood carvings.

Part of what make these wood-carvings unique is the floral ornamentation that is distinct to this village.  The floral ornaments include the Chinese, pungel, and karang pandil ornamental style. “As a carver, we create much as painters do, expressing our imagination by transforming inanimate objects into works of art that look alive. All the wood carvers in Sumita village have tremendous artistic talent and never work carelessly”, sid local carver Putu Suyadnyana.

Carving requires great patience and perseverance in order to produce a good piece. The carved works are specifically made for Balinese traditional buildings and include door panels gebyog and gedong style door panels, and lodge and bale dangin or eastern pavilion carvings. Carvings are also made for sacred buildings like shrines and temples. These buildings are all equipped with traditional carvings from pillar, bottom chords, to knee braces, hip rafters, rises, trusses and others. “The uniqueness of Sumita village carvings lie in the harmony of the style of carving shapes, so that from a distance it does not look too small nor too small close up”  explained Suyadnyana.

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In addition to floral motifs, door panel carvings also include puppet characters from the Ramayana epic, like Sugriva – Subali or from the Mahabharata epic like the Pandavas figures. The wood used in these carvings is teak that is especially brought in from outside of Bali. Jackfruit wood and champak wood are also used for door panels. Other carvings are made from bangkirai, marbau, camphor and other woods.

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Sumita village cis made up of six hamlets: Mulung, Sema, Pande Tengah, Siih and Melayang and has a population of around 480 families -99 percent of whom work in wood carving. Carvers in Sumita village began to prosper in the 1990s and virtually all children, teenagers, parents, men and women here can carve. “Although almost everyone can carve, about 80 percent earn their living this way, while the rest work as civil servants, hotel workers, farmers and other odd jobs”, said this father of two sons.

Interestingly, although many of the carvers here are self-taught and some have had the skills passed down to them or learned at art school, the results of their carvings are nearly all the same as if their were a common spirit guiding them. “Carving in Sumita village provides a livelihood for many people and allows people to pay for their children’s tuition” he said.

For many Balinese people, carving is indeed considered a regular activity, while in the eyes of most foreigners carving is viewed as an artistic attraction. In fact, there are even walking or bicycle tours that pass through Sumita village so that visitors can see this unique activity and the charm of this village.
There are tourist accommodations located within the village so that visitors can enjoy a longer stay in this rural atmosphere. “The potential of Sumita village to become one of Gianyar’s tourism villages, is greatly supported by the precence of the wood carvers” said a hopeful villager. Sumita village is currently renovating a temple relief in the south of the village that is a heritage left from the time of a kingdom.  (BTN/015)

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