Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Nyonya Kebaya 1

image compliments of Usha & Wei Ching
clockwise from bottom left: gold hair pins, beaded slippers, bridal hankerchief, examples of embroidery on kebaya (3), sarongs (2), more examples of kebaya embroidery (2)

Travel addicts Usha & Wei Ching were in Malacca for the Nyonya Kebaya exhibition. Wish I could have gone along *sob*. But at least we get to see the pics!

Thanks for sharing the photo's ladies!

A bit of background for those who are scratching their heads: "Nyonya who??"

Nyonya's are descended from Chinese immigrants to the Malay peninsula in the 15th & 16th centuries. Culturally, they have adapted to the local Malay culture while retaining most of their chinese heritage and traditions. Their language is a mixture of Malay and Chinese words, and Nyonya food is a scrumptious combination of Malay and Chinese styles of cooking
The traditional Nyonya way of dressing is another distinguishing feature: they have adapted the sarong kebaya - a long sleeve top over a long sarong - with the addition of embroidery and beading, worn with heavily beaded slippers and distinctive brooches.
Nyonya's are famous for their embroidery and beading skills.
Sadly, we see very little hand-embroidered Kebaya's nowadays but in Malacca, you can still buy hand-beaded shoes and slippers.

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