HANDICRAFTS AND GAMES
Since Malaysia is a country with a rich multicultural background, there are many types of arts and crafts related to the different ethnic groups. Malaysian artisans have produced pewter products, batik fabric, wood crafts, earthenware and jewellery, many of which are internationally recognised. Traditional games are often played by the local community during festivities and also during their leisure time.
Malaysia produces traditional and colourful textiles like batik and songket which are well known internationally. The textiles can be made into clothes, bags, shoes and also into decorative souvenirs.
Batik is unique as it involves the delicate and repeated process of dyeing fabric by covering certain areas of the fabric with wax to prevent it from absorbing colours. Some of the beautiful designs include geometrical designs,plants and flowers motifs. The colourful fabric can be made into trendy dresses, shoes, bags, scarves, bed linen, curtains and other decorative products.There are many batik shops in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu which are on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia
This special fabric is created by using an intricate technique where gold threads are woven in between the silk threads of the cloth. There are eight stages to making the songket which are woven using a Malay frame loom. The traditional songket usually have motifs of plants and flowers. The songket fabric is often made into a head cloth, sarung and often used in Malay weddings
Malaysian artisans using an abundance of timber found in the country to create masterpieces such as furniture, beds, walking sticks and Malay dagger handles. Some traditional Malay houses have wooden decorative panels with intricate carvings on them.There are many decorative souvenirs made of wood in the shops of Malaysia.
Malaysian pottery is often unglazed , colour can be varied. There are some pottery that are a red shade while others are black in colour. The pottery can be made into vases, cooking pots, sculpture and many other decorative items. There are also containers made of pottery for cooling and storing water. Some of the Sarawakian vases have tribal motifs on them.
Jewellery And Accessories
Intricately hand-crafted accessories are made of leather, gold, silver copper,brass and even natural materials, Some of the beautiful accessories include beautiful beadworks, traditional brooches, hairpins and belt buckles.These pieces of art are unique, trendy and are affordable. The states of Sabah and Sarawak are well known for their unusual and elaborate beadswork which are made into belts, earrings, bangles and necklaces.
Pewter of the highest quality is made into tableware, drinkware, traditional artifacts and also as home decorations. Small pewter souvenirs include mugs, key chains, music boxes, photo frames, plaques and clocks to name a few. Pewter ware is becoming popular and new trendy items are being created for the market.
Hand -woven Crafts
The materials used to make these crafts include bamboo, rattan, pandan, mengkuang leaves and other local plant fibres. Pandanus mats are beautifully woven mats made fom Menkuang leaves and are used in many Malaysian homes. Other hand-woven souvenirs include bags, hats and baskets.
This sport is also known as Giant Top Spinning.The giant top weighs about 5kg and may be as big as a dinner plate. Spinning this top requires skill, strength as well as co-ordination. If the top is hurled by an expert, it can continue spinning for up to 2 hours.On the east coast of Malaysia ,in Kelantan and Terengganu , there are annual top spinning contests. This game is usually played before the rice harvest season.
The traditional kite called ‘wau’ is immensely popular in the east coast state of Kelantan where the location of the land is very suitable for this sport. These large kites are huge, measuring about 3.5 metres from the head to the tail and are played after the rice harvest season. There are kite festivals with competitions for kite flying as well as the kite making contests.The kites come in all sorts of designs and are very colourful and a splendid sight to behold. The most famous kite is the huge moon-kite.
In olden times, this Mathematics game is played by the womenfolk, using dug out holes in the ground. The present day congkak is an oval shaped solid wooden block with 2 rows of either five, seven or nine holes. There are 2 big holes at both ends of the congkak called “home”. The winner of the game is the person who has won the most seeds. The seeds used can be marbles, tamarind seeds, rubber seeds or even small pebbles.
This game is also known as Sepak Raga. A ball made of bamboo is passed about the players in this traditional sport. Any part of the body except the lower arms and hands can be used to pass the ball.
For centuries,Silat has been practiced in the Malay Archipelago. This martial arts consists of strikes,dance-like fluid movements, accompanied by gongs and drums. Silat is often performed at Malaysian cultural festivals.
Wayang Kulit or Shadow Puppet Theatre is a traditional art where a story is acted out through the puppets by the hands of a master storyteller. These unique puppets are crafted out of animal skins such as cow or buffalo, hand painted and each puppet has their own distinctive look.