RM0.00

No products in the cart.

RM0.00

No products in the cart.

Of Innovation, Japanese Ceramic Researcher and Labu Sayong

Labu sayong is a traditional Malay clay pitcher that originated from the village of Sayong, Perak. It is a part of Malay pottery history and is known for its unique qualities. The water stored inside a labu sayong becomes colder than usual, and some people believe that drinking this water can help refresh the body.

Labu sayong was originally made using a pinching technique, where women would skillfully create the pitchers by hand under their elevated houses on stilts. This approach was quite inefficient, as skilled artisans could only produce a few pieces daily.

In 1986, a Japanese ceramic researcher from Malaysia’s Standards and Industrial Research Institute (SIRIM) introduced a revolutionary technique during a visit to Koperasi Kg. Kepala Bendang.

This technique, known as slip casting or moulding, was shared with labu sayong artisans and instructors at the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation (MHDC). The locals call these moulds labu acu. It turned out to be an easy-to-learn method that quickly produced many pieces of labu sayong in a short time.

This innovation resulted in a transition from crafting under houses to using workshops equipped with modern tools. Six other villages in the Sayong district also participated in this transformation: Kg. Talang Ulu, Kg. Sayong Lembah, Kg. Temiang, Kg. Pauh, Kg. Sayong Sekolah, Kg. Bukit Lada, and Kg. Padang Serai.

Within these workshops, modern machines and tools have simplified the crafting process, marking a departure from the traditional stilted houses that were once synonymous with labu sayong production.

Arguably, innovation can help preserve and pass on these age-old skills to future generations. This is true for labu sayong as well – without innovation, the tradition of pottery-making in Perak might fade away someday.

Research has shown that in the 1980s, only six local families were still making these clay pitchers using traditional methods. By 2010, only two of them continued this practice.

We certainly hope that labu sayong will not disappear like the traditional Malay pottery that was lost in 1995 – Pasu Kechur from Perlis. MHDC said that it went extinct because no one learned how to make it.

Labu Sayong is a Malaysian heritage that embodies Malay history and culture. It has evolved and adapted over the years, transitioning from traditional methods to contemporary techniques

Innovation has played a dual role in preserving and advancing this art form, yet it also raises questions about authenticity and identity.

Striking a harmonious balance between innovation and tradition is vital, as is passing down the skills and knowledge of labu sayong. Beyond its practicality, labu sayong stands as a symbol of Malay culture and history.


References:

Haron, H., Yunos, N., Zainal Amri, N. H., & Ali Yasin, S. M. (2018). Labu ACU: an innovation for commercialization of Malaysian pottery heritage. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology (IJMET)9(7), 1494-1502.

Haron, H., Noh, L. M. M., Ismail, N. H., Manan, S. A., & Mutalib, N. A. (2014). Aesthetic aspects of moulded clay pitcher. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research21(8), 1264-1275.

Arifin, A. (2015). TRADITIONAL MALAY POTTERY OF KUALA KANGSAR: ITS HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT. Kajian Malaysia: Journal of Malaysian Studies33.

Mini Batik Tote Bag - Corak Empat

A blend of beauty and local craftsmanship. This tote bag is small but stunning, perfect for your everyday needs. We're proud to say that this bag is 100% locally made, supporting local talent and businesses. Skilled local artisans carefully craft each bag by hand. This means your bag is unique and made with love.
RM35.00

Versatile Ceramic Gift

Elegance meets versatility with our Versatile Ceramic Gift. A finely crafted piece that seamlessly blends traditional craftsmanship with modern gifting possibilities. This product draws inspiration from the timeless artistry of labu sayong. Each piece reflects the rich cultural heritage and artisanal expertise that goes into its creation.
RM4.00

Batik Sarung Cotton Sri Pasha Green Yellow (Noor Arfa)

This luxurious 100% cotton fabric comes in a classic Green Yellow colour and features an exclusive Borneo design. Measuring 2 metres by 45 inches, it is perfect for making elegant skirts, stylish blouses, traditional kurung attire, and beautiful dresses. Made in Terengganu by Noor Arfa, a brand well-known for its high-quality batiks in Malaysia since 1980. Care instructions: Hand wash or machine wash in a cloth bag; do not bleach or soak.
RM45.00

Kain Batik Sarung - Variation Three (Corak Lima)

Arina Batik comes in a range of exclusive, beautiful, and modern colour combinations that are unique and contemporary. Don't miss the opportunity to own a piece of this beautiful and unique batik, made with high-quality materials and stunning design.
RM29.00

Rattan Island Tray - Set of 2

Use it to serve appetizers, drinks, or snacks at your next gathering, or simply as a decorative centerpiece. Easy to carry and durable enough to withstand regular use, the Rattan Island Tray is the perfect combination of style and functionality.
RM95.00

Labu Sayong Corak Dua - Medium (Red)

Perfect for adding a unique touch to your decor, whether you use them as decorative pieces or as household utensils. Order yours today and support the skilled artisans who handcrafted these beautiful pieces.
RM18.00

Batik Sarung Goldline Red (Noor Arfa)

This luxurious 100% cotton fabric comes in a classic Red colour and features an exclusive floral pattern. Measuring 2 metres by 45 inches, it is perfect for making elegant skirts, stylish blouses, traditional kurung attire, and beautiful dresses. Made in Terengganu by Noor Arfa, a brand well-known for its high-quality batiks in Malaysia since 1980. Care instructions: Hand wash or machine wash in a cloth bag; do not bleach or soak.
RM59.00

Labu Sayong - Mini with Floral Motifs (Green)

The perfect size also allows you to hold the heritage of Malaysian pottery-making in the palm of your hand. Available in a choice of red, green, and blue. Unique and thoughtful choice for weddings, housewarming gifts, or souvenirs.
RM12.00

Shop

This is it. Your search for iconic handicrafts of Malaysia starts here.

Blog

Documenting places we visited and what we learned from such visits.

Sell with us

We're always looking for talented artisans to collaborate with.

Let's talk

How can we help? Let's get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.

error: Content is protected.