Thursday, September 18, 2014

Muzium Adat (Customs Museum) in Jelebu.

Being of a Minangkabau descendant makes me want to visit this place even more - Muzium Adat or Customs Museum.

Located in Jelebu, approximate 30+km for Seremban town and  60+km from Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia's Muzium Adat or Customs Museum. My earlier assumption was wrong in thinking that it will be full of Adat Pepatih's heritage, culture and most importantly their customs (a matrilineal system whereby ancestral land is passed through from mother to daughter), it is in fact a museum that consolidate and compile all sort of Malaysian customs; old and new, of all races and tribe. Of which to my liking of course.

Upon arrival, we were presented by 2 cultural performances unique to Negeri Sembilan heritage, a folk music by the name of tumbuk kalang was performed by Kumpulan Tumbuk Kalang Seri Jelebu. Tumbuk kalang is a musical instrument made of mortar and pestle (tumbuk lesung), rebana and gong. In the olden days, tumbuk kalang is usually perform on the night after the end of the harvesting season. 

The beautiful Tarian Selamat Datang and Tarian Piring were performed by the popular Selendang Sembilan. Originated from West Sumatera Barat, Tarian Piring existed since 800 years ago from the land of Minangkabau. Its musical instruments are mainly saluang or a bamboo flute and talempong; small kettle gong or an ensemble of four to five gongs.

Truthfully, I am very impress at the effort made and the detail that was put into; collecting, preserving and documenting our customs. Welcoming the visitors into the museum by enlightening them with Adat Naik Rumah or Entering the House Traditions whereby a person needs to clean his feet before entering someone's home. Normally in the kampung (village), a big crock basin/pot is stationed outside the home with a hand bailer made of coconut shell for everyone to use.

Traditional attire.

Ceremonial Feast or Makan Beradat during Malay wedding.

Showcasing how each customs are different during wedding reception or festivities and yet share great similarity, where a ceremonial feast takes place either before or during a wedding or festivities. Even the food have been greatly fused in all our culture nowadays.

Makan Besar or Chinese Reunion Dinner during Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year).


Ponggal is regarded as a thanksgiving occasion. A highlight of the festival is the Ponggal cooking ceremony of boiling rice till it overflows, symbolising wealth and harvest. The festival is celebrated over a four-day period. (Source : Visit Malaysia Year site)

The Museum is divided into four galleries.

Gallery Ground Floor – Introduction of Adat
This gallery provides a general overview on the introduction, definition and the concept of customs; the categories of customs, as well as the various races in Malaysia and their respective customs and practices.

Gallery Level One – Life Cycle
Showcases the customs and practices related to the human life cycle which includes birth, marriages, death and economic activities as well as ritual practices of Malaysian society, and also music as the manifestation of customs.

Gallery Level Two – Intellectual Tradition / Government and Power
This level showcases the intellectual activities of the Palace and the people as well as the institution of the Malay monarchy.

Gallery Level Three – Adat Perpatih

A special segment that showcases the customs of temporary emigration of the Minang community from Minangkabau until their eventual settlement in Negeri Sembilan and the sanctity of the Adat Perpatih within the social structure.

Source : Department of Museums Malaysia

Visitors are also being educated on death rites or customs of respective race/tribe.

Adat Turun Perahu or Boat Launching Ceremony here in Malaysia is very different from those in western countries whereby they officiate it by breaking a champagne bottle at the boat. For us in Malaysia, this custom was practiced by fisherman years ago before they set sail at the open sea. With the help of shaman, the boat will be blessed to protect the fisherman from the rough sea.

Harvesting season and its custom.

Adat Berhkatan or Circumcision.

I won't elaborate in detail, my suggestion is that you visit the museum to understand it better. There is also a video showing the process. Very educational I must say.

Back in those days, there are two customary law that is widely practiced in the Malay Peninsula that is Adat Pepatih and Adat Temenggong. Adat Pepatih is practiced in Negeri Sembilan (from Minangkabau in Sumatera) while Adat Temenggong is from other Federated Malay States. There are also popular customary law such as Undang-undang 99 Perak for the Perak state or Hukum Kanun Pahang for Pahang state.

We were also explained in great detail on Adat Pepatih, the background, Luak Nan Empat and etc.

We have the opportunity to experience 'makan berselo'; a traditional dining custom practiced in Negeri Sembilan when the villagers meet-up with 'pengamal adat' or custom practitioner such as Tok Undang or Tok Adat.

We were served with sumptuous local delicacy like rendang itik daun puding hitam with kulit rambai, ikan sembilang salai masak lomak kuning cili padi, rendang pegaga, sambal gesek, sambal tempoyak masak daun kayu. Simple yet delicious.

Muzium Adat / Customs Museum
Opening time : 9.00 am - 5.00 pm. Closed only on Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Aidil Adha.
Entrance Fees : Free
Guided Tours : Free one hour guided tours led by museum officers. 
(Reservation needed for groups and school groups, please contact 06-613 6621)

A #KCC1M #Negeri Sembilan Media Fam Trip in collaboration with #GayaTravel


Farikica said...

Hi liliy..never know the museum exists.. hehe... good info...

Cik Nurul said...

Nice review. CN can put this museum in my museum-visiting list :)

Ruggedmom com said...

Dulu selalu lalu depan muzium tu tapi tak pernah singgah pun

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...