Friday, April 29, 2005

Songket, The Regal Heritage Stamp

Songket StampsThis series of stamps feature beautiful designs and motifs that can be found on a Malaysian brocade textile called Songket. Songket is produced by inserting gold or silver thread in between silk or cotton weft or latitudinal threads of the main cloth. Once exclusive to the Malay courts, songket is now accessible to anyone who can afford it. Prices range from above one hundred to tens of thousands of Ringgit per piece, depending on the workmanship and material.

The motifs featured are very much nature inspired, from local flowers, fruits and plants. The use of spatial harmony, balance, rhythm, repetition, and sizes of the motifs express a high level of artistic achievement. The golden or silver thread used in the songket adds rich elegance and glamour to the design of the fabric.

It is still popularly worn by the Malaysian for important occasions, ranging from traditional rites to official ceremonies Songket Miniature Sheetand functions. Current efforts are in progress to promote and instill national pride in songket and to further propel it to global status.

Pucuk Rebung Gigi Yu

Dubbed the bamboo shoot pattern, it has a very still, disciplined effect. Forming a wavy, indented edge like that of shark's teeth, it is one large, complex design of floral motifs. The overall effect is one of integration and harmony.

Bunga Bertabur Pecah Lapan

This scattered pattern of repeated motifs produces a beautifully harmonizing coverage, balance and visual beauty of the cloth. The flower motif has eight separated petals which meet in a distinct center.

Pucuk Rebung Gigi Yu dan Bunga Kayohan

Songket First Day CoverAnother bamboo shoot inspired design formed with gold threads. Rows of flower motifs are intricately patterned in the center. This design is very popularly used for the "kepala" of the songket cloth. It is a very distinctly traditional and uniform pattern that lends a majestic feel to the fabric.

Teluk Berantai Bunga Pecah Empat

This pattern can be woven in some ten distinguishable patterns. The solid chain (rantai) is woven in gold thread with floral motifs. The Songket First Day Covercenters of the chain are filled with flower motifs with 4 separate petals to produce a softer, lace-like appearance.

Potong Wajik Bertabur

This simple scattered pattern creates great spatial coherence, balance and visual beauty with symmetrical motifs. This motif is inspired by the glutinous sweet rice cake called the potong wajik which is a popular Malay dessert.

Songket Stamp SheetTechnical Details

Date of Issue : 29-Apr-2005

Stamp Value : 30 Sen; 50 Sen; RM 1.00 ( Setenant )

Stamp Size : 30 mm x 40 mm

Sheet Content : 20 Stamps

Miniature Sheet Denomination : RM2.00

Miniature Sheet Size : 100mm x 70mm

Stamp Size in Miniature Sheet : 30mm x 40mm

Perforation : 14

Paper : SPM Watermarked,Phosphor Coated

Printing Process : Lithography

Printer : Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.

Stamp Designer : TV3(Creative Services Dept.)

First Day Cover Value : 30 Sen

Presentation Pack Value : RM 4.50

Folder Value : RM 5.00

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Traditional Dance Stamp

Traditional Dance StampsThe expressive power of dance as an art form has endured for centuries, in many different parts of the world. Malaysia, with her rich intermingling of cultures, has a particularly rich and varied dance heritage.

Whether performed by Malays, Chinese, Indians, or by the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, each performance is a rich tapestry which weaves together exquisite costumes and equally delicate and expressive movements. Whether telling a story, celebrating a harvest, or celebrating life itself, the Dances Of Malaysia are among our most cherished cultural traditions.

Traditional Dance Miniature SheetTraditional Malay dances are steeped in history and legend. The Kelantanese Tarian Asyik is supposed to represent the flight of birds - and the fluid grace of the dancers, as they sway gently to the sound of traditional instruments such as the serunai, gambang and rebab, certainly takes the imagination on a flight of fancy. Equally mesmerizing is the Tarian Zapin, which has Persian roots and has now developed many forms across the states of Malaysia. One of the more intriguing variants is the Zapin Tenglu from Mersing, which depicts the ebb and flow of the tides and the lives of local fisherfolk.

Chinese dances, on the other hand, use simple props such as Fan, Umbrella, and Handkerchief as extensions of the dancer's own emotions. For instance, the fan is used to express joy and happiness. The umbrella is used primarily to express passionate feelings, either between a male and female or between an individual and his or Traditional Dance First Day Coverher surroundings. Many Chinese traditional dances are an important accompaniment to key festivals, and are accompanied by the pounding of the gu (drums) and bo (cymbals).

Indian dances are many and varied; some express a more spiritual angle, others express the simple joys of village life. Indian dances can be divided into classical and folk styles. Of the seven classical styles, perhaps the best known is Bharata Natyam, mastery of which can take Traditional Dance First Day Covermany years due to the many intricate hand, leg and eye movements which must be learnt in order to perform this time-honored and venerated dance in its full, unforgettable splendor

Kathak dance is another form of classical dance. The word Kathak is derived from Katha, meaning "the art of story telling". From its early form as a devotional expression dedicated to the Hindu gods, Kathak gradually moved out into the courts of the rulers.

Dances Of Sabah and Sarawak - perhaps the region of Malaysia which is most blessed with forms of dance from Sabah and Sarawak. The sheer variety reflecting the many different ethnic groups of the land. The Sumazau is often regarded as the state dance of Sabah. It is simple, yet graceful and evocative, as the dancers, clad in Traditional Dance Presentation Packauthentically Kadazan black velvet, sway like birds to the sounds of gongs. In the neighboring state of Sarawak, Datun Julud, a female dance of the Orang Ulu tribe of Sarawak is performed with typical grace and beauty with a distinct costume that include feathers that are attached to the hands giving the impression of birds in flight. The movement vocabulary simply focuses on changing weight from one leg to the other in an almost pedestrian manner making it earthbound while the use of the arms gives it a lifted and light impression. As for Kanjet Ngeleput, this dance is also from the orang Ulu tribe of Sarawak. The dance of a male warrior is largely improvised deriving and depicting the activity of hunting. The manner of placing and transference of weight is particularly interesting beginning with the heel and through the outside of the foot while the arms maintain a gentle swaying quality but is fairly straight.

Traditional Dance FolderTechnical Details

Date of Issue : 9-Apr-2005

Stamp Value : 30 Sen; 50 Sen; RM 1.00

Stamp Size : 40 mm x 30mm

Sheet Content : 20 Stamps

Miniature Sheet Denomination : RM2.00

Miniature Sheet Size : 70mm x 100mm

Stamp Size in Miniature Sheet : 40mm x 30mm

Perforation : 14

Paper : SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated

Printing Process : Lithography

Printer : Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.

Stamp Designer : Reign Associates Sdn. Bhd

First Day Cover Value : 30 Sen

Presentation Pack Value : RM 3.50

Folder Value : RM 5.00

POS Malaysia 9 April 2005, Saturday Press Release


Pos Malaysia Berhad (PMB) today issues Special Stamp and First Day Covers on "Traditional Dance" on Saturday, 9th April 2005.

The Special Stamp and First Day Covers was launched by YB Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Minister of Urban Development And Tourism, Sarawak at Sarawak Tourism Auditorium Complex, Kuching. The beautiful stamps featured various traditional dances of Malaysia.

"Malaysia, with her rich intermingling of cultures, has a particularly rich and varied dance heritage" said Dato' Ikmal Hijaz Hashim, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Pos Malaysia Berhad.

"Whether the dance is performed by different races such as the Malays, Chinese, Indians, or by the people of Sabah and Sarawak, each performance is unique and a rich tapestry which weaves together exquisite costumes and equally delicate and expressive movements. Pos Malaysia is happy to document the Dances of Malaysia as commemorative stamps as they are among our most cherished cultural tradition," added Dato' Ikmal.

The stamps, 40mm x 30mm in size, are printed in sheets of 20 by using SPM watermarked, phosphor coated paper and are available in the denominations of 30 sen, 50 sen and RM1. Pos Malaysia Berhad is also issuing First Day Covers at 30 sen each and Presentation Pack at RM 3.50 each. Miniature sheet, 100mm x 70mm in size, is available with a stamp in the size of 30 x 40mm at RM2.

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