Sunday, December 27, 2009

terengganu Ku

Tukang Tembaga

The traditional boats of Terengganu, batik and songket cottage industry, craftsmanship of copper/brass-smith.

I learned these trades are quite geographical even within Kuala Terengganu. You can only find copper/brass-smith in Kampung Ladang in Kuala Terengganu.

I am quite curious as what had been the determining factor for such a phenomena.

In fact, Ladang is also where traditional keris-makers used to reside and base their crafts trade. Ladang was like, the metallurgy super-corridor of Terengganu at one point of time or possibly the centre of the today East Coast Corridor.

I met Mi, a brother to the coppersmith in Ladang who helps his brother to run their cottage copper workshop.

You can roll you eyes when I say this, but I can see clearly, it’s the passion that drives it.. and I can sense he feels responsible to continue his family craft tradition.

It’s in their blood.

Still, the facilities in the workshop are quite “primitive”. Not trying to change the traditional way or their scopes, but the place can be better with proper workshop organization. It needs a subtle commercial / industrial setup.

The government have not done enough to ensure these craftsmanship preserved, properly.

Sometimes they can’t use the kiln (oven) to bake their craft simply because air naik – flooded.

The state in which the industry is in now is not even close to economically viable. If you look at the cost of labor and other resources and material, there is no way they can survive well without government assistance.

They need their basic infrastructure. It should be modernized with time without losing the essence and the spirit of the crafts.

As a rakyat, I wonder where all the Wang Ehsan went….

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