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Wood carving is one of the traditional Malay arts where the sculptor will tear the surface of a board or piece of wood to design a motif. Among the five types of motifs applied to wood, are, flora, fauna, cosmos, geometry and calligraphy. Usually, the sculpture does not resemble the object of flora directly but is processed in a symbolic form to resemble the object. It is a carpentry art that existed before the 16th century in Peninsular Malaysia. Sculpture is a Malay heritage art that has been established for centuries and has a high value of civilization.

Conceptualizing the balance of nature based on the composition, selection of motifs and forms of carving. The processing in this art of sculpture is closely related to the philosophy of divinity and the universe. Carvings are also used on Malay houses to add aesthetic value and support the look or joints to the shape of the building. Before the advent of Islam in the 13th century, the art of sculpture was influenced by Hindu and Buddhist beliefs.

The carvings produced at the time, many used Hindu and Buddhist motifs to honor the gods. Since Islam first gained a foothold in the Langkasuka Kingdom in the 16th century, the art of sculpture has also changed in terms of motif, purpose and purpose. Carving art based on Hindu beliefs such as stupas, makaras, lotuses and mountains, is still used to this day. Motifs of Hindu animals and deities have been replaced with flora and calligraphy motifs influenced from the Old Langkasuka style. Stupa carvings can be found on Malay house architectural elements such as buttons or on house gates. Mountains, on the other hand, form like mountain tops or trees of virtue (tree of life) which are usually used as status symbols placed on the gates of palaces, pulpits or tombs.

Makara is a cosmological depiction of the myth of the sea monsters of Pattani and Kelantan. Usually, it is carved on a boat used as a vehicle in the circumcision ceremony procession in the Malay community. Organically patterned makaras can also be seen on house trim, doors and windows. Lotus, on the other hand, is used as a foundation or boundary on a building component. Among the examples of lotus carvings is the buton fruit at the base of the celestial display, which is an element of the building’s roof frame. Translated from : from: Book 'Spesies-spesies Kayu dalam Seni Ukiran Melayu'

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Last Update: 28/03/2022