Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Mask Man of Malaysia | Mah Meri Cultural Village

Having heard of the many tribes in East Malaysia, I tend to find that Peninsular is lack of past and heritage, especially Selangor being the melting pot after Kuala Lumpur. But of late, with the help of UPEN (Unit Perancangan  Ekonomi Negeri Selangor), I have learnt to appreciate the little thing in Selangor that I am proud of now, able to brag share. One of it being Mah Meri Cultural Village; home to the culture and heritage of Mah Meri tribe of Selangor.

Earlier Kembara Kraf Entries

Family altar (panga).

Cleansing ritual (feet washing).

Visited more than a handful of Living Museum or Cultural Village, in within Malaysia or internationally, am excited to visit my very own birth place’s cultural village. Being the ‘jungle people’ of peninsular Malaysia, the Meh Mari was originally known as the Orang Besisi, (also call themselves Ma Betisek, which means, "people with fish scales") is classified under Senoi subgroup. Similar to the aborigines of Sabah and Sarawak, the Mah Meri or Orang Besisi are nomadic seafarer living in small wooden houses in the forest of Selangor with minimal modernity interaction aside from medical and tele-communication aspect. Known as the Mask Man of Malaysia due to their woodcarving skills and leaves origami, they pretty much holds and preserve their heritage and culture tightly. Still practicing anismism, one will notice that most of the unique, authentic and detail wood carving features animistic characters; which is noted, recognized and received UNESCO Seal of Excellence.

At the Mah Meri Cultural Village, one get to visit the museums that showcases the history, some of the famous wood carvings and culture. Located at Pulau Carey, the museum is basically located at their village where visitors get a chance to see them going through their daily routines, getting to work, walking to school or doing a normal house chore. Upon earlier arrangement and request, one can even see their local dance.

I was told that the highlight of the tribe would be their festival whereby I was encouraged to  visit and experience the ritual of their Hari Moyang or Spirit’s Day. Usually observed after the Lunar New Year where villagers in Carey Island would celebrate it in grand manner. Similar to any other festival in Malaysia, food and drinks are served to the guest, while the Tok Batin or Shaman will conduct the ceremony. Spirit’s Day is celebrated to seek blessing for their family members, friends and home. It starts from morning at 3 moyang’s home - Moyang Keteq, Moyang Gadeng dan Moyang Amai. Spirits’ Day attracts travelers from near and far where their famous Jooh and Topeng dance being performed.

Entrance Fee
Walk - In = RM5.00/pax
Walk-in with guide = RM10.00/pax
Full Package = RM85.00/pax
Standard Package = RM60.00/pax
Premium Package = RM120.00-RM150/pax
Student Package = RM50.00/pax
Travel Agent Package = RM60-200/pax

Mah Meri Workshop = RM30/hour

Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Bumbun
42960 Pulau Carey, Kuala Langat
Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel/Fax: 03 2282 3035
Tel: 010 2522 800

Email :

Kembara Kraf Selangor Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Selangor and UPEN with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

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