Tag Archives: peranakan baskets

Heritage-class Basket Cases

I remember two kinds of Peranakan legacy “baskets” that my family used to possess, but have lost them through unredeemable, basket case ignorance. 

There was a black-and-red type, with lacquered finish. They called it “sia nah” or “bakul sia” – (谢篮) meaning “thanksgiving basket”. We used it to carry nonya kueh and other goodies as gifts when visiting friends and relatives.

The other type was made probably from some kind of rattan, and had pictures of birds and flowers painted on the sides. I think it was called “hua nah” (花篮) meaning “flower basket”.  It was used mainly to carry pre-wedding goodies from the groom’s side to the bride’s home.

Both types were available in single-tier or multi-tier configurations.  Alas, we do not see them in use anymore.