Art and Craft


Traditional Art and Craft

Handicrafts have been around since man’s earliest days in accordance with the prevailing environmental conditions. The first examples were necessities such as protection or coverings. Handicrafts were later improved and adapted according to environmental conditions, eventually becoming “traditional” and accepted as an art that reflects the artistic sense, feelings and cultural characteristics of a society. Traditional Melaka handicraft can be classified in few cultures such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, Chitty and Baba Nyonya. Architecture, whose origins lie in a need to provide permanent shelter, has also changed and adapted in accordance with local environmental conditions. This development led to wood carving gaining its unique characteristics during the western conquered period. Arts and crafts objects were simple in form, without superfluous or excessive decorations, and how they were constructed was often still visible. They tended to emphasize the qualities of the materials used (“truth to material”). They often had patterns inspired by British flora and fauna and used the vernacular, or domestic, traditions of the British countryside.