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Kampung Pictures Daily When soul touches wood
When soul touches wood PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Sunday, 20 September 2009 12:58


When heart meets matter, beauty happens. The Rumah Terengganu is a fine example of craft reaching for its potential - something increasingly rare in the mindset of our population - and serves as a wonderful repository of a people's pride in the work they do.


The spaces harken the spirit of sopan, of kehalusan, and a soft-spoken confidence.

Records show that Terengganu was part of the Malay kingdom of Langkasuka, which thrived on the extended throat of the Kra peninsula from the 2nd to 16th century.

The region was an active trading partner with the neighbouring communities of Monsoon Asia including India, Siam, Cambodia and the Nusanatara islands. It was a fertile playground of cultures. No doubt, the Rumah Terengganu is shaped by these influences.


For centuries, we were a culture of wood. The Terengganu traditional house was usually built from kayu chengal (Neobalanocarpus heimii) and the roof cladded with Singhorra tiles, named after the Songkhla region in Thailand where the tiles originated. These flat-profile clay pieces appear as scales on the finished roof. Peles (gable ends) are fitted to the end of the roof.


Just as incredible is the sobek woodcarving on window openings and balustrades. With repeating floral and Islamic patterns, one can only wonder in amazement the level of patience and artistry.


All pictures were taken at the Terengganu State Museum, where five versions of local Terengganu dwellings have been preserved in its compound.


Rumah Terengganu: Terengganu Tourism

Singhora tiles:


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2009 14:50

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