Malay traditional kampung house for 'take away'

Osman Husin, 59, is pictured here together with the replicas of the traditional Malay kampung houses that he created. Picture: Bernama

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FOR many among the tourists who visited the world heritage city Melaka, the Malay traditional houses are sure to attract their attention.

Chances are, they would be fascinated by the design of these wooden houses complete with their veranda and roof, distinct features when compared to the modern dwellings in this city.

These Malay houses are known for its curving tile-clad and stone-made staircase that further enhanced the house's unique architecture particularly its 'serambi' (veranda) portion.

Usually the house has 12 to 16 pillars, with three main parts veranda, main house and kitchen. The house's compound various flower plants that the rural Malay society.

Over time, extinction is threatening these houses and today the "survivors" only are located in places like Kampung Morten, Kampung Pengkalan Batu and Bukit Palah as many have opted for modern living.

The existing traditional Malay houses exhibit landscapes that have features underlined and governed by the Preservation and Conservation of Cultural Heritage Enactment 1988 (Amended 1993) under the auspices of the Melaka Museum Corporation (Perzim).

The move is to conserve and preserve the Malay architecture for the benefit of tourists. !For carpenter Osman Husin, the Malay traditional houses have become a source of inspiration for him that made the 59-year-old man has focused his skills into making miniature replicas of the structure.

These miniature Malay houses have proven to be a hit among tourists who bought them as gifts and souvenirs.

He has been doing the business for three years and the response received is "simply great".

Osman is from Kampung Melaka Pindah, Alor Gajah, and his handiwork received warm response when displayed at expositions and carnivals in the state. !"There are government agencies and private sector firms that bought these miniature replicas to be displayed as office decoration or souvenirs for their functions," he said.

Osman's skills offer two models of these replicas. one with a single roof and the other, with two roofs. The price varies from RM350 to RM600 each. "I use wood, plastics, fibreglass, nails and paints to make these models," Osman said, adding that he needs two to three weeks to complete a model of the Melaka traditional house.

Each of the model comprises, among others, the stone staircase, veranda, porch, main hall, dining room and kitchen.

"For the house model with one roof, the length is 12 inches long and 12 inches wide at the height of 13 inches. The measurement of the two-roof model is 14 x 12 x 13 inches," explained Osman who learned carpentry from his elder brother Mohd Sharif, 70.

Osman grew up in a Malay traditional house that still stands today at Pengkalan Rama Pantai here (the house is occupied by his brother). His appearance with the replica models of the traditional houses at the Felcra Berhad Designing Carnival 2010 here had attracted public attraction. A visitor to the fair, Sulaiman Abdul Kadir, 28, said: "The models are indeed eye-catching, the make is fine and are exact replicas of the traditional houses". Bernama