Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Carla Jones

Second Advisor

Robin Bernstein

Third Advisor

Elias Sacks

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


This thesis investigates the ritual labor required of Hindu Balinese women to produce obligatory daily offerings for their households. It analyzes how Balinese broadly perceive this work and what women themselves hope to accomplish through these objects. The thesis situates this ethnographic analysis through theoretical connections with the scholarship on Bali, feminist theories of domestic labor, and ritual economies. The research was based on six months of fieldwork and interviews with thirty Balinese women and two Balinese men. I found that while many Balinese women expressed weariness or dissatisfaction with the never-ending nature of offering making, many of them also expressed satisfaction in being able to help their families achieve the state of selamat, a condition of safety and equilibrium between the visible world of humans and the invisible world of spirits.