They carry small round pots on their heads. The Buddha on another scene is presented milk in a pot by Sujata before he reaches Nirwana. Another scene on the Borobudur reliefs shows pots being stacked in a shanty (Bernet Kempers 1977) 8 and on yet another scene pots are being made by hand.
Excavations on temple compounds also yield earthenware pots. The sacred spot of the compound has a buried pot as a temple depot. Also on eastern Javanese reliefs we see local pottery as water containers. Trowulan, the site of the ancient town of 14th century Majapahit, still contains earthenware pots in the soil. One excavation produced a bottomless earthenware pot which had been the top of a well. Trowulan is also famous for its terracotta figurines and ornaments, which at one time embellished the houses of Majapahit.
These statues from the Majapahit period which were intended as images of worship of deceased kings and queens had lotus plants rising from pots flanking the royal figure.9) In the case of Singhasari royalty, lotus plants were rising from their tubers. It appears that the Majapahit statues had representations of Chinese pots, apparently martavans, which in Kalimantan are still used as containers of human remains. Perhaps the pots were associated with death (pots) and life (lotus plants) rising from death.10) On ancient mosques
in Java, which had roofs with many tiers, the top piece was made from terracotta, it was called mastaka.11)
Though modern technology has entered Indonesia, local pottery is still produced and used in large quantities. In the markets there are always stalls which sell large earthenware pots as water containers. Dishes are often still cooked in earthenware pots (kendil) and it is supposed that certain dishes, such as the gudeg, a curry of young jackfruit, specially popular in Yogyakarta, taste better when they are cooked in an earthenware pot than in a metal pan. The serabi, which is a kind of pancake is baked in an earthenware pan with a lid on top. The ikan pindang, is fish, cooked in large earthenware pots and kept inside for sale.
Incense burners are also made of clay, and so are flowerpots. The kendi (jug) still keeps the drinking water cool in many households. When the child is born, the placenta is placed in an earthenware pot and buried. It is considered to be the younger brother or sister of the newborn baby.