Volume 11 – Number 8
Anak Alam Arts Group
Cover. Two Chinese porcelain jars with underglaze blue decoration exported to Borneo, Kangzi period (1662 – 1722); height 96 cm, and 48 cm. Courtesy of the Sarawak Museum.
1980 is a coronation year in Malaysia and it is appropriate that our special issue on this nation of some 13 million begins with a search for the origins of Malay crowns by Mubin Sheppard. Dato Mubin first arrived from England in 1928 as a cadet in the Malayan Civil Service. He was the country’s first Director of Public Relations and a founder of its Department of Information, of the National Archives of Malaya, Federation Arts Council, National Gallery, and Malayan Historical Society. He has authored a dozen books on Malayan culture, history and customs.
Several Malaysian museum officials have authored articles in this issue. Lucas Chin is the Curator of the Sarawak Museum in Kuching, East Malaysia. Syed Ahmad Jamal, Director of the Cultural Centre of the University of Malaya, discusses Arabic calligraphy in Malaysia with supporting photographs from William Willetts, Director of the Museum of Asian Art, Mohd. Kassim Bin Haji Ali, Curator of Ethnology at the Muzium Nagara, deals with shadow puppets.
For travelers, Malaysia is divided into three parts: West coast peninsula, East coast peninsula and East Malaysia (Sarawak and Sabah). We glimpse them all this month. Special features on Cherating Village and Trengganu turtle watch replace our usual book reviews in ORIENTGUIDE.
Fred S. Armentrout