Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A lovely cover from Malaysia!

Many thanks to Khor for sending this lovely cover from Malaysia. On this cover are 3 beautiful stamps that belong to the "Cultural Instruments & Artefacts" series II, issued on 10th June 2008. "Batu giling" or stone grinder is a traditional tool consisting of two parts made of stone, referred to as "mother" and "child". The "mother" is the millstone or base part of the grinder where the chilli or spices are placed, whereas the "child" is the smaller piece of stone used to roll onto the base stone to crush and grind the said spices. Using this stone grinder will produce a fine and well grounded paste of spices or chilli. "Supu" is a small container used to keep tobacco. Made of silver and beautifully decorated with fine carvings, it is also used as a decorative accessory by the Bajau community in the district of Kota Belud, Sabah. Amongst the Dusun Tindal community, it is known as "kuapu" and is used as a decorative accessory for the bride and bridegroom's wedding costume. "Kukur kelapa" or coconut grater is a tool used to grate or scrape the flesh of the coconut from its shell. The traditional coconut scraper is shaped out of a piece of wood for the seat and at the end is a sharp-edged metal spur.
Creativity from the artistic Malays have resulted in the "Kukur kelapa" carved based on the design of a four-legged animal complete with the tail and other carvings of nature-inspired motives such as plants.The coconut grater was once a very important tool in every Malay household as coconut milk is an essential ingredient in Malay cooking. Although its usage by the city folk have reduced due to the preference of electric tools, this tool is still much in use in the outskirts.
Some myths about "kukur" is that it is either male or female. Women are not allowed to use male "kukur" especially during major feasts.
This cover was postmarked on 18th Mar 2009 and reached me on 24th Mar 2009. It had traveled an estimated distance of 457km.

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