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memores acti prudentes futuri

When life was simpler..

I found an article titled ‘Kelantan-Patani the forgotten History’, and quickly sent an e-mail to the admin of  the site for a requote and republish some of the interesting photos of the Kelantanese communities in year 1909 – Exactly 100 years ago!

First photo: Peasant men dress code

The photos were taken from the book Kelantan : a state of the Malay peninsula – a handbook of information by W.A. Graham publisher Glasgow : Glasgow U. P., 1908.

Costume of Kelantan peasant is of a simple nature.  A square cotton clothe called “Kain Lepas”, hitched around the waist and falling to his knees, a wisp of painted calico artistically bound round his shaven poll, and a third cloth wrapped about his middle, forming a belt in which arms, money, betel-nut, and tobacco can b

e carried, complete his outfit.  Thus attired he is prepared for any of the occupations which his daily life may bring him.  Is it a long journey to perform, he thrusts his ‘Keris’ into his cloth belt, hides a parcel of rice and a little extra tobacco in the folds of the latter, takes his spear in hand, and is ready for the road.

Does the season of th year call him to the ploughing, he goes forth without satorial preparation of any kind, and takes his buffalo to the field.  Wet or fine, his costume is the same.  He has no boots to be spoilt by mud, and coat to be injured by the rain.


Second Photo: Social function dress code for men.

Third: The Women's dresscode

The usual costume of the Malay woman consists, like that of the peasantman, of three cloths.  The first (Sarong) is fastened round the waist and falls to the ankles; the second (Kembau) is hitched round the body under the arms and over the bust and falls over the sarong to a few inches below the hips, being usually adjusted to reveal the lines of the figure as clearly as possible; and the third (Kelumbong) is a loose shawl which is supposed to be used to conceal the head, face and shoulders, but which is generally so arranged as to leave those parts uncovered.  All classes wear the same costume, that of the ladies of high degree differing from the dress of their lowly sisters in quality, perhaps, but not in the form of quantity.


GM: One thing that I noticed in the above photo is how fit the men and the women were.  Some are even masculine and definitely without bulging tummies.  They looked healthier than most of us (circa 20-30 years old). Whilst the Second photo  depicts two Malay men with their price winning cow wearing more presentable outfits.

For the women’s dress code, it depicts the  pre-baju kurung and kebaya era.  Baju kurung costume was created to ‘Islamnize’ the above traditional dresses.

Link to  faizn in Kelantan-Patani’s Forgotten History

Filed under: Arts & Crafts

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