Thursday, December 14, 2006


3 days on the road and lazing in Kota Bharu, I accepted the opportunity to go wet - a boat trip down one of the rivers, Sungai Pengkalan Datu which eventually leads out into Kuala Besar and the open sea.

Kampong Tanjung Kuala is situated close to this river mouth and home to the classic hand-made Perahu Kolek. The community of fishermen goes about their life in the usual unhurried fashion. I was there at late afternoon, long after the catch has arrived and sold. Fisherfolks were in their usual jovial mood passing their time at the Wakaf, the "empty talks" in their Kelantanese dialect that the "Orang Luar" or outsiders will be left guessing.

Perahu Kolek is indeed a work of art. These boats are solid, made of the Chengal wood. To protect the wood from weather and sea, these boats are painted, many times over with vibrant colors and designs. Owners pride themselves in this work of art. I chanced upon one fisherman proudly painting his boat while a nephew was drawing a new design. It's an experiment, said him. He did the non-artistic part of painting the strips. The nephew was experimenting his skill as a batik painter.

The work-in-progress of the batik design is another work of art. The batik painter did not sketch the design prior. He painted straight on, confidence built over the years painting straight onto batik cloth.

Up close of the Perahu Kolek, one can notice the designs and colors at various parts of the boat. The Bangau at the front of the boat is like a mascot. It boasts of different shape, design and colors. Here I post a few of them

1 comment:

Did I just say that? said...

t's a nice boat..maybe u can boat it right to dublin..there's loads of ports and quays here!:)