Monday, April 18, 2011

Culture: Melaka Malay Traditional House

Typical Melaka Town Malay Traditional House with long roof and tiles staircases

‘Rumah Melayu Melaka’ or Malacca Malay House is the traditional Malay house that can be found in Malacca. It can still be found in the whole of Malacca today. It is only traditional Malay housed which mainly can be recognized by its glazed and multicoloured tiles on the staircases which are imported from Europe and China. Flowers are a common motif.

Traditional House with Alor Gajah long roof style and verandah

The house evinces a mixture of architectural influences, which mainly adopted from the traditional Chinese house. In its original form, the main house of the Malacca Malay House stands on 12 or 16 main posts.

Merlimau Limas roof style Malay Traditional House with colorful tiles and carves

The structure is made up of the main house, the central section and the kitchen. The main house is made up of the verandah and at times front room is added which has steps leading to it. In the central section is a room and separating the main house and the kitchen is a passage called ‘selang’. In the central section there is an attic used as a bedroom for the girls especially when there is a wedding ceremony and, also, as a storage space. The Malacca Malay house is normally built with ‘Cengal’, ‘Meranti’ and ‘Damar laut’ wood.

Traditional House of Sungai Rambai with Limas roof, 'tunjuk langit' and tebar layar

A typical traditional Melaka house stands on 12 to 16 main pillars, usually two metres high. The decorative flower-motif tiled steps are its most striking feature. Traditional Melaka houses can still be seen in rural communities with the most famous located in Merlimau.
Traditional Malacca Malay houses can be seen especially in the Merlimau area about 20 km south of Melaka City on the coastal road to Muar and Johor. 

Jasin 'Balik Hari' Traditional House with clay roof and imported tiles

A unique feature of the Melaka Malay kampung (village) house is its concrete and attractively-tiled front stairway. Most Malays are very house proud and you can see the effort put into up-keeping and gardening.

Parit Penghulu Limas Traditional House with simple design and 'pagar musang'