Monday, March 23, 2009

Traditional Wedding Costumes Stamps

In today’s modern era, the Malaysian community comprising of various races and many ethnic groups still value the rich legacy of traditional costumes worn during important occasions such as weddings. Each ethnic group has their own heritage of wedding costumes that are unique in their own styles and designs.

On the most important day, the attire worn is very beautiful, special yet traditional. The Chinese and Indian couples wear red, while the Orang Ulu and Bajau are colourfully dressed and the Malay couple wears a matching outfit complete with accessories as king and queen for the day.

However, all wedding costumes are similar in that the bride and groom look outstanding and magnificent in their bright coloured and grand ensemble, complete with beautiful headdress, unique accessories and magnificent jewellery worn only during weddings.

Traditional Malay Wedding Costume

The Malay bride and groom look grand in their traditional wedding attire made of songket cloth woven in the pattern of “bunga tabur” The bride wears a “baju kebaya labuh”, a classic style costume with matching “sarung” and long shawl also made from songket. A decorative headgear and other accessories are added as the finishing for her as the queen of the day.

Traditional Chinese Wedding Costume

The Chinese bridal couple looks resplendent in the traditional wedding costume, reminiscent of a bygone era. The bride is dressed in an embroidered skirt with a matching long red silk jacket and around her neck is a large elaborately decorated detachable collar, resembling the neck feathers of the phoenix. On her head is an ornate headdress made of gilded gold and silver inlaid with kingfisher feathers and embellished with pearls and red pom-poms. The bridegroom’s wedding attire is a long embroidered dragon robe. He wears a black hat with red tassels.

The combination of the dragon and phoenix symbolizes the balance of the male and female power. Red, the favourite colour and the “double happiness” symbol shown in the background of the stamp represents luck and signifies love and prosperity.

Traditional Indian Wedding Costume

The stamp depicts an Indian bride and bridegroom in their traditional colourful wedding attire. The bride is in a beautiful silk saree and matching blouse with gold thread embroidery while the bridegroom is in his “vashtee”, a long-sleeved shirt and matching cotton cloth woven with gold thread. The bride is adorned with flowers in her hair and the garland of flowers round their neck, with flower bouquets in their hands. In the background is a picture of a garland normally used at Indian weddings.

Traditional Orang Ulu Wedding Costume

The costume for the Orang Ulu bridegroom is an embroidered bead vest and a loin-cloth. The headgear is fashioned from feathers and woven beads. The Orang Ulu bride is in a colourful sequined dress called “basung: and “ta’ah”. The head is beautifully adorned with a "lavung doh".

"Bunga Jarau", a wood ornament shown in the background of the stamp is a decorative item used at weddings.

Traditional Bajau Wedding Costume

The Bajau bridal costume is the "badu sipak"; the yellow blouse made of satin with flared sleeves, showing off an under-blouse of a contrasting hue and the "olos berangkit" which is a full length black wrap-skirt. Other interesting accessories adorn the bride such as "mandapun", a decorative ornament with stylised silver or gold leaves worn around the neckline; "serempak", a two-piece head decoration in the shape of a ship made of gilded silver and "garigai" which are small ornaments dangling down from the hair bun. Silver bangles and jewellery such as the "ingkot pangkat" or the silver coin belt and "keku"; long tapered gold fingercovers complete the finishing touch for the bride.

Technical Details

Date of Issue : 23rd March 2009

Stamp Value : 50 sen (5 Designs)

Sheet Content : 20 Stamps

Booklet : RM3

First Day Cover Value : 30 Sen

Perforation 14

Paper Watermarked SPM, Phosphor Coated

Printing Process Lithography

Printer : Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.

Designer : Hazel Design Sdn. Bhd.

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