Wednesday June 27, 2012
Macabre coffin exhibition in Malacca
By ALLISON LAI
MALACCA: An intriguing exhibition on coffins at the Bastion House in Jalan Kota is not for the faint-hearted.
Themed Towards Eternity, the exhibition, which some may find macabre, is a great chance for visitors to explore the significance of coffins from different cultures.
The various communities' funeral rites and practices are narrated through a visual presentation.
Visitors are greeted with an eerie glimpse of exhumed skeletons and bones at the archaeological section.
Also shown are the burial and funeral customs of the local orang asli, such as the Bateq and Mah Meri tribes whose coffins are made out of wooden lath and bamboo.
The modern and ethnic section features the funeral practices of the Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian communities and shows examples of their funeral ceremonies, complete with replicas of the coffins.
The brochures also explain how the design of the coffins had evolved over time, including the changes in the shape of the coffins then and now.
Visitor Airiel Sidek, 11, from Tampin, Negri Sembilan, said seeing some of the orang asli coffins was a fascinating experience.
“That was something new for me as I have not seen any of their coffins before. I'm happy to have this knowledge and I am not afraid at all,” he added.
K.C. Tan from Johor said the exhibition was an eye-opener for those who did not know much about coffins and the funeral rites of the various communities.
He lamented that the exhibition displayed a limited variety of coffins and hoped that more coffins of different designs would be displayed in future.
Malacca Museum Corporation (Perzim) manager Datuk Khamis Abbas said the exhibition was made possible with the cooperation from the Perak Darul Ridzuan Museum, which held a similar but detailed exhibition earlier this year.
“The exhibition will allow for good exposure to this aspect of human life, as not many of us have first-hand experience of the funeral processes of other communities,” he added.
The exhibition is on until July 22. Tickets are priced at RM2 for adults and RM1 for children below 12. For more information, contact Perzim at 06-282 6526 or 281 1289.