Digitisation of Woodcarving Artefacts


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Digitisation of Woodcarving Artefacts

  1. 1. DOCUMENTATION & DIGITISATION OF WOODCARVING ARTEFACTS AS CULTURAL HERITAGE Zawiyah Baba Principal Research Fellow Institute of the Malay World & Civilisation (ATMA) National University of Malaysia IFLA-NIFT Conference 2011 International Conference on Convergence of Libraries, Archives & Museums, New Delhi, 15-17 Feb. 2011
  2. 2. NIK RASHIDDIN NIK HUSSEIN 1955 - 2002 <ul><li>Born and bred in Kelantan, Malaysia </li></ul><ul><li>Master carver & philosopher </li></ul><ul><li>Famed for his fine keris hilts </li></ul><ul><li>Collector of woodcarving artefacts </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Textbooks’ for his craft & artistry </li></ul><ul><li>Set up Kandis Resource Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Advocated craftsmen must understand & appreciate their own history. </li></ul>
  3. 3. NIK RASHIDDIN’S COLLECTION <ul><li>Woodcarving artefacts – 354 units </li></ul><ul><li>Keris - 300 units (est.) </li></ul><ul><li>Drawings - 254 units </li></ul><ul><li>Sketch books - 12 units </li></ul><ul><li>Newspaper cuttings - 60 units </li></ul><ul><li>Photographs & slides - 2000 units (est.) </li></ul><ul><li>Books,Printed Materials - 856 vol. </li></ul><ul><li>Manuscripts - 3 vol. </li></ul><ul><li>Varieties of wood cuts & planks- hundreds (est.) </li></ul>
  4. 4. ATMA PROJECT <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage primary research on Malay wood carving through:- </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation & digitisation of artefacts, drawings & sketches in the collection; </li></ul><ul><li>Constructing a digital database from Nik Rashiddin’s collection </li></ul><ul><li>Provide easy access & reference to information on Malay woodcarving </li></ul>
  5. 5. CATEGORIES OF ARTEFACTS <ul><li>Agricultural implements – kertuk, tenggala </li></ul><ul><li>Architectural implements - buah buton, sesiku </li></ul><ul><li>Fisherman’s boxes – Wooden food boxes </li></ul><ul><li>Fishing Implements – paddle, models of boats </li></ul><ul><li>Weaving implements – weaving contraption </li></ul><ul><li>Ceremonial objects – gong-stand, betel-leaf set </li></ul><ul><li>Religious Objects - Rehal (Quran stand) </li></ul><ul><li>Recreational objects – Bird cage, quail trap </li></ul>
  6. 6. CATEGORIES OF ARTEFACTS - (CONT.) <ul><li>Carving tools – carving knives, hammer </li></ul><ul><li>Kitchen tools – coconut scraper </li></ul><ul><li>Wood panels – carved arches for doors </li></ul><ul><li>Weapons – keris, spear, short knife </li></ul><ul><li>Furniture – carved bed heads, cot </li></ul><ul><li>Musical Instruments - Rebab </li></ul>
  7. 7. Documentation – data fields <ul><li>Inventory no </li></ul><ul><li>Type of artefact </li></ul><ul><li>Creator / craftsman </li></ul><ul><li>Year created </li></ul><ul><li>Place of origin </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Measurements </li></ul><ul><li>Features/characteristics </li></ul>
  8. 8. Documentation – data fields <ul><li>Type of wood </li></ul><ul><li>Pattern </li></ul><ul><li>Motif </li></ul><ul><li>Technique </li></ul><ul><li>Other materials used </li></ul><ul><li>Finishing </li></ul><ul><li>Function </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul>
  9. 9. Documentation - data fields <ul><li>Condition </li></ul><ul><li>Other special/unique features </li></ul><ul><li>Original price/value </li></ul><ul><li>Current price/Value </li></ul>
  10. 10. Database <ul><ul><li>Digital database originally developed using Filemaker Pro V.9 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stand-alone database </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Migrated to central repository in malay civilization portal using oracle-ucm software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now accessible at malaycivilization.ukm.my portal </li></ul></ul>
  11. 13. ARTEFACTS AS SYMBOLS OF CULTURAL LIFE <ul><li>ECONOMIC ACTIVITY </li></ul><ul><li>I) AGRICULTURAL </li></ul><ul><li>- Large percentage of population in the East Coast of </li></ul><ul><li>Malaysia involved with farming such as padi planting, </li></ul><ul><li>cultivation of tobacco & other cash crops </li></ul><ul><li>- Animals such as buffaloes and cows are used in farming </li></ul><ul><li> as evidences by the existence of tenggala or wooden reins </li></ul><ul><li>in Nik Rashiddin’s collection. </li></ul><ul><li>- The carved kertuk for buffaloes and tenggala for cows </li></ul><ul><li>indicates that wood carving is very much a part of the life of </li></ul><ul><li>peasants and ordinary people and not just the aristrocacy. </li></ul>
  12. 14. ARTEFACTS AS SYMBOLS OF CULTURAL LIFE <ul><li>ii) FISHING </li></ul><ul><li>- Fishing is the main occupation in the East Coast, and </li></ul><ul><li> is the chief means of livelihood. East Coast is littered </li></ul><ul><li> with fishing villages.Main supplier of the country’s fish and seafood and seafood products </li></ul><ul><li>- Traditional Malay carving feature prominently in fishing </li></ul><ul><li> boats. Nik Hassan (2010) identified 7 parts of the Malay </li></ul><ul><li> boat which are usually carved </li></ul><ul><li>- Fishermen’s wooden food boxes for fishing trips are </li></ul><ul><li>handmade and carved </li></ul>
  13. 15. ARTEFACTS AS SYMBOLS OF CULTURAL LIFE <ul><li>iii) Weaving </li></ul><ul><li>- Weaving is another important traditional occupation & cottage industry in the East Coast especially among women </li></ul><ul><li>- East coast well-known for rich hand-woven fabrics, worn as ceremonial dress </li></ul><ul><li>- Haziyah (2010) describes similar motifs in East Coast woodcarving and textiles </li></ul><ul><li>- Wooden weaving implement are also carved </li></ul>
  14. 16. ARTEFACTS AS SYMBOLS OF CULTURAL LIFE <ul><li>DOMESTIC ACTIVITY </li></ul><ul><li>i) Kitchen tools </li></ul><ul><li>- The carved coconut scrapers and wooden biscuit moulds are the most common functional kitchen tools in East Coast homes. </li></ul><ul><li>- Coconut milk is used in most Malay dishes and cakes while biscuits are favourite items served during festivals </li></ul>
  15. 17. ARTEFACTS AS SYMBOLS OF CULTURAL LIFE <ul><li>RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY </li></ul><ul><li>- Religion play an important role in the daily life of the Malays. Artefacts such as the carved rehal ( book rest) which are common household items used for quran reading, and mimbar ( pulpit) are indicative of this. </li></ul><ul><li>- Malay woodcarving motifs refrain from visual reproduction of animals & humans reflecting Islamic values and principles. Floral, nature and geometric motifs are common. </li></ul>
  16. 18. ARTEFACTS AS SYMBOLS OF CULTURAL LIFE <ul><li>RECREATIONAL </li></ul><ul><li>- Some of the elaborately carved items in the artefacts collection are the carved bird cages and the quail traps, favourite past times of the Malays, particularly the wealthy and aristocracy. </li></ul><ul><li>- Quails and quails eggs are delicacies </li></ul><ul><li>- Singing birds such as ‘ merbok ’ are highly valued </li></ul>
  17. 19. ARTEFACTS AS SYMBOLS OF CULTURAL LIFE <ul><li>WEAPONS </li></ul><ul><li>- Malay traditional weapons were an essential part of men’s attire, especially the ‘ keris ’ </li></ul><ul><li>- ‘Keris’ symbolises power and are used as ceremonial items as well as for defence </li></ul><ul><li>- Weapons such as keris, spears, short knives are very prominent in Nik Rashiddin’s collection </li></ul><ul><li>- Some of the finest keris hilts were carved by Nik Rashiddin in his later years as master carver </li></ul>
  18. 20. CONCLUSION <ul><li>Documentation & digitisation of woodcarving artefacts crucial for preservation of Malay cultural heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Construction of digital database provide easy access to data & images of </li></ul><ul><li>artefacts collection </li></ul><ul><li>Online access on Malay civilization portal will generate interest & facilitate research on Malay woodcarving </li></ul>
  19. 21. FURTHER RESEARCH <ul><li>Explore works and personal collections of other master carvers </li></ul><ul><li>Undertake documentation & digitisation of available artefacts collections </li></ul><ul><li>Expand existing database on traditional Malay woodcarving </li></ul>