The smooth jawi script, intricately carved with the words ‘Tengku Khazijah binti Seri Maharaja Sultan Abdul Jalil, Riau 1127 (Hijrah)’, shone brightly in the glass case. The words were inscribed onto a silver tray, replete with small motifs.
It must have once been an important household item, used by a royal family. Present in the early days of the Riau Sultanate, it would have been used to carry delicious cooked food, and warm drinks for family members, friends and guests.
Other exhibits include a magnificent war helmet, inlaid with precious stones and made using bronze. It is from Iran dating back to the 18th to 19th century AD. There is also a pectoral plate made of silver inlaid with precious carnelian and turquoise stones from Bukhara, Uzbekistan from 19th century AD.
A visit to the Kuala Lumpur Craft Cultural Complex at Jalan Conlay, is a wonderful hidden gem. Tucked away from the busy traffic, this craft centre is situated in an open-concept building, with traditional motifs and intricate wooden carvings.
The complex houses several different sections comprising a craft museum, artists’ colony and craft village as well as batik gallery and souvenir shop.
Stepping into the complex, one is greeted with the latest cultural exhibits. On display are local handicrafts such as batik, rattan baskets, pottery, and other crafty knick-knacks.
Make your way to the artists’ colony to try your hand at batik painting. Visitors are encouraged to participate and leave their prints behind.
This is a great place to find more about the history of songket weaving. One is able to view the ornate and expensive gold thread songket also on display in glass cases.
To get there:
One can use the monorail and stop at the Raja Chulan station. Follow the signage to the complex. It is a 30 minute walk (leisurely pace).
Another alternative is to go there by taxi.
There is also a shuttle service available, upon request, at the complex to hotels in the city center. Check with the information counter to verify.
Visit their website at http://www.kraftangan.gov.my/main/or call +6 03 2162 7459 for further information.
The Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex, Section 63, Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.