IJCH 2019 Vol.5(1): 1-4 ISSN: 2382-6177
doi: 10.18178/ijch.2019.5.1.137

Objects and the Malay Living Room

Zarina Za’bar and Syed Iskandar Ariffin
Abstract—This research seeks to explore the importance of displayed objects in the living room of a Malay house. Whether the objects are for everyday consumption or merely decoration, the following discussion suggests an approach that firmly implies how things are used, lived, and appropriated into the Malay’s everyday life. The classification of displayed objects and in-depth interviews were conducted within 30 selected Malay houses throughout Malaysia in this research. The article develops and complements existing ideas and knowledge in Malay cultural living from the past and the present that focuses on the appreciation and understanding of the complex relationships between Malay people and their things: the making, history, preservation, and interpretation of objects. The present study contributes to the existing research by extensively identifying displayed objects in the selected living room, and the relationship relates to how objects act as the embodiment of meaningful connections between ancestors, kinfolk, friends, and other people within their homes. The study is explored via five observed methods of presentation within the living room: objects as an inheritance; objects as a remembrance; objects as affluence; affable objects; and symbols of faith.

Index Terms—Displayed objects, Malay culture, living room, home.

Zarina Za’bar is with the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia (e-mail: rinnazabar@gmail.com). Syed Iskandar Arrifin is with Institut Sultan Iskandar, Univerisiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia (e-mail: b-sahmad@utm.my).


Cite: Zarina Za’bar and Syed Iskandar Ariffin, "Objects and the Malay Living Room," International Journal of Culture and History vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-4, 2019.

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