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EVOLUTION OF THE DWELLINGS FOR COCOS MALAYS IN COCOS (KEELING) ISLAND

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Conference Paper

EVOLUTION OF THE DWELLINGS FOR COCOS MALAYS IN COCOS (KEELING) ISLAND

Abstract

This paper studies the unique anthropology of the Cocos Malays of Cocos (Keeling) Island in Australia. The focus of the study is about the evolution and transformation of their dwelling architecture and culture. Cocos Island is an isolated coral atoll located in the vast Indian Ocean, and it became a home for the small community of Cocos Malays. Cocos Malays is a group of people from various ethnicities who were brought by a British merchant as slaves when he decided to inhabit and settle on the island in the 1820s. The slaves were a combination of people, mostly of Malay origin with the majority coming from Banten, Indonesia. These people later became assimilated into what is known today as the Cocos Malays. Starting with being slaves to the British and then as Australian subjects, this paper traces their history through the transformation of their dwelling culture until the present time. The dwellings, apart from serving the function of basic needs for a human being, also acts as a place for them to experience their sense of belonging, culture and worth of people displaced by circumstances beyond their control. Through archival research and present observations, the paper in progress elucidates the transformation of the architectural practices of the Cocos Malays’ dwelling culture. Keywords: Cocos Malay, Cocos (Keeling) Island, dwelling culture
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1st Asia Pacific Conference on Contemporary
Research
(APCCR-2015)
3rd – 4th October 2015
Arena Star Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
EVOLUTION
OF THE
DWELLINGS
FOR COCOS
MALAYS IN
COCOS
(KEELING)
ISLAND
Prepared by:
Dr. Noor Aziah Mohd Ariffin
Nurul Ain Osri
Kulliyyah of Architecture & Environmental Design
International Islamic University Malaysia, IIUM
CONTENT Introduction
Background of the
Studies
Timeline of Cocos
(Keeling) Island
Evolution of dwelling in
Cocos (Keeling) Island
Conclusion
References
INTRODUCTION
1. This presentation is an
ongoing research where
the main purpose is to
analyze the evolution of
the Cocos Malays
dwelling culture.
2. In addition, it gives a
quick overview of the
Cocos (Keeling) Island,
its history, people and
culture.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDIES
POSITION:
!A group of
islands in the
Indian Ocean.
!Southwest of
Indonesia, about
halfway between
Australia and Sri
Lanka.
Cocos (Keeling) Island
Source: http://
rogerluisa.blogspot.my/2012/10/
cocos-and-christmas-islands.html
2,950 km north-west of Perth
900 km south west
of Christmas Island
2,650 km
Size: 14 sq km
Consist of 27 coral
islands.
Only Home Island
and West island
are inhabited.
Airport located at
West Island.
Cocos (Keeling) Island Map.
Source: Geoatlas.com (2012)
http://www.geoatlas.com/en/
maps/dependencies-
overseas-6/keeling-
islands-7019)
OVERVIEW
Cocos%(Keeling)%Island%Overview
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):;!&%+!'%#*4
the Cocos Malays
Land crab
Red-footed booby
Lobster
Coconut trees
the living world
Coral reef
the facilities
Health Centre
School
Mosque
Airport
Cyclone Shelter
others
Playground Tennis court
Mini market cemetery
TIMELINE OF COCOS (KEELING)
ISLAND
1609
Captain William Keeling has
discovered the Cocos Atoll
during one of his voyages
from Java to England.
1826
Alexander Hare (British
merchant) and a group of his
slaves are brought to the
islands.
Hare sets up the first
settlement on Home Island
(then called Goose Island)
1827
John Clunies Ross (Scottish
trader) and party arrived and
settled on Pulau Gangsa (now
the cemetery).
But, later move to South
Island due to tension with
Hare.
1829
Hare has exported the 1st coconut oil to England.
He occupied Goose(Home) Island, Horsburgh, Direction and Prison sland
with a total of 98 persons.
1831
Increasing disputes between
Hare and John C. R. as well
as Hares financial problem
led Hare to travel back to
Batavia.
John C. R. assumed control
of the islands.
1834
Hare died in Java.
John C. R. moved to Home
Island and took over Hares
operations.
1854
John C. R. died.
John George C. R. took
over.
1857
Captain Fremantle arrived to
annex the islands for Britain.
He declared the Islands part
of the British Dominions.
1836
John C. R. traveled to
Mauritius to seek British
annexation of the islands
1871
George C. R. assumed
control over the Cocos
Settlement after John George
C. R. died.
1944
27 Home Island houses
have destroyed.
John Sidney C. R. died.
His wife and son went back
to England.
1946 - 1947
WW II has ended.
John Sidney C. R.s widow returned to Cocos with her son John
Cecil C. R.
Population increased from 795 (1913) to1600 (1946).
She want to reduce the population –food shortage/overpopulated.
A survey conducted- Inspected Christmas Island, Singapore and
several sites in Peninsular Malaya.
1886
Queen Victoria – granted
the islands to George C. R.
and all his descendents.
Oceania House was built
(completed 1893).
1910
George C. R. returned to
UK and died on the Isle of
Wight.
His son John Sidney C. R.
assumed control of Cocos
Islands.
World War started.
1948
EMIGRATION BEGINS
Late 1948 – A small group
went to Christmas Island.
1949
Late 1949 - 1st trip: 180 went
to North Borneo - worked as
plantation workers.
2nd, 3rd, 4th trip
(last trip:1952)
John Cecil C. R.
commenced as ruler of
Cocos Islands.
1954
The Queen visits Cocos
(Keeling) Islands.
1969
John Cecil C.R. seeks
Home Rule (internal self
government).
1973
Australia has invited UN
committee of 24 to visit and
report on the Cocos Islands.
1978
The Australian Government
has purchased all of the C.R.
land on Cocos Islands.
($A6.25 million).
1955
The islands were transferred
to Australian control.
1979
The Cocos Islands Workers
Co-Operative was
established – to look after the
Malay communitys business
interests.
1980
A second UN visiting
mission is sent to the islands
- legislation for compulsory
education.
1984
6 April: A third UN Mission
observed an Act of Self
Determination.
Cocos Malays have voted
to integrate with Australia.
1987 - Present
Copra industry was declared to be unprofitable.
Most of the land was vested in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Council.
Australian Government promised to raise the living standards –
equivalent to mainland within a decade.
Now – Cocos (Keeling) Islands under Australian territory.
FROM 1826 UNTIL TODAY
the Cocos Malays lived in dwellings that were provided for them.
The majority of Cocos Malays have lived on Home Island.
A small group of Europeans dwelled in West Island.
EVOLUTION OF DWELLING
IN THE EARLY SETTLEMENT PERIOD
1. One room affair
- as a place for sleeping.
2. Kitchen placed
outside.
3. Bathing & washing
- on the surrounding
beach.
Later, with the addition of more family members, the islanders were allowed to
extend their houses to consist of two rooms for sleeping and attached to the open
space (serambi).
SPATIAL
ORGANIZATION
The houses were
built in a gridiron
planning - typical of
European influence.
Layout of the Home Island Village in 1941
Source: http://nicholasherriman.blogspot.my/2014/06/homes-in-
history.html
Typical Traditional Malay houses arrangement.
Source: http://www.slideshare.net/alialakhram/architecture-
history-of-malaysia-houses
Organic planning – typical
of Malays influence.
vs
Bantam Village Plot Organization on the Home Island.
Source: Google Earth (2012)
TRANSFORMATION OF THE
HOUSES
Rumah Atap
(1920s to 1950s)!
Rumah Batu
(1950s to 1980s)!
Rumah Baru
(1980s to present)!
each family = one plot of
land to reside.
The dwelling compound in the 1920s. (Not to scale)
(Source: Author)
RUMAH ATAP (THATCH ROOF)
(1920s to 1950s)!
the dwelling compound
consists of main house,
outdoor kitchen, toilet and
well.
The houses solely served
as a place for the dwellers
to do their basic daily
routine such as cooking,
sleeping, bathing,
washing and etc.
The Rumah Atap on the Home Island.
(Source: The Clunies-Ross Cocos Chronicle, 2009)
RUMAH ATAP (THATCH ROOF)
(1920s to 1950s)!
Walls: the spine of the palm
frond.
the frame: local hard wood.
built off the ground on top of
short stump.
Roof: layers of woven palm
fronds.
constructed with local
building materials
Walls: were cast inside huge moulds.
Wooden kitchens, storage sheds and
washhouses were built separately at the
back as before.
Layout plan of Rumah Batu. (Not to scale)
(Source: Author)
The façade of Rumah Batu with mono-pitched roof.
(Source: The Clunies-Ross Cocos Chronicle, 2009)
RUMAH BATU (STONE HOUSE)
(1950s to 1980s)!
Layout: consist of two bedrooms (bilik
tidur) and a hall (rumah tengah).
Hall: area to entertain the guess and
family gathering.
Bedrooms: place for sleep.
hall
bedroom bedroom
The layout: an extension from the
previous design.
Layout plan of Rumah Baru. (Not to scale)
(Source: Author)
Selang
RUMAH BARU (NEW HOUSES)
(1980s to present)!
From 1980s till now, Home
Islanders have resided in the 96
"New Houses" (Rumah Baru).
It is a part of the Home Island
Development Plan.
bed
room
bed
room
bed
room
porch
store
kitchen
hall
bathroom
toilet
1st part ,consists of:
- hall(rumah tengah)
- kitchen (dapur)
- store
2nd part, consists of:
- bathroom (bilik mandi)
- toilet (tandas)
- 3 bedrooms
- porch
Both parts were
separated by a covered
open space called
selang.
the houses
the interior
CONCLUSION
FUTURE STUDIES
a better understanding of the Cocos Malays dwelling culture to explore the meanings behind all
the renovations and extensions to the house, whether intrinsic or symbolic.
to document the dwelling culture of the emigrated people to Sabah.
1. the evolution of the
Cocos Malay dwelling
culture has
transformed over the
years in order to adapt
to the culture and the
current way of life of
the inhabitants.
2. The three types of
houses were basically
built to the same
design where in the
first two there is no
trace of individual
preference in the
design of their houses.
3. The main purpose was
to solely serve the basic
needs of the residents. In
the last type (Rumah
Baru), further extension
of the house were done
taking into consideration
the event of receiving
additional members, born
or married into the family.
REFERENCES
[1] Bunce, P., (1988). The Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Australian Atolls in the Indian Ocean. Australia:
The Jacaranda Press.
[2] Central Intelligence Agency, (2015). The World Factbook. Australian Oceania: Cocos (Keeling)
Islands. Retrieved July 21, 2015 from
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ck.html
[3] Cocos Keeling Island, (2015). About Cocos. Whether and Climate. Retrieved July 21, 2015
from
http://www.cocoskeelingislands.com.au/about-cocos/weather-and-climate/general-climate
[4] Australian Government: Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, (2014).
Cocos Islands Economics. Retrieved July 23, 2015 from
http://regional.gov.au/territories/Cocos_Keeling/economics.aspx
[5] Welsh, A., (2015). Cocos Malay Language since Integration with Australia. Shima: The
International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, 9 (1), 53-68
[6] Omar, A. H., (2008). The Malays in Australia. Language, Culture, Religion. Kuala Lumpur:
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
[7] Herriman, N., (2014). Home in History. Retrieved July 25, 2015 from
http://nicholasherriman.blogspot.com/2014/06/homes-in-history.html
THANK
YOU
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean and arehome to the Cocos Malay people, who have developed a distinct dialect. It waspredicted over 30 years ago that the Cocos Malay language faced extinction, perhapseven within the timeframe of one generation. Two possible threats to the Cocos Malaylanguage were identified. It was felt that English, as the language of power, may replacethe Cocos Malay language. The other possibility was language convergence, whereCocos Malay would be subsumed by another, larger Malay dialect. With these issues inmind, I explore developments in the Cocos Malay language since the Islands’ fullintegration with Australia in 1984. Drawing from extensive ethnographic work andlinguistic research into Cocos Malay I also refer to the work of other researchers toanalyse how the Cocos Malay language has developed over the past 30 years, in a timeof great social change. I argue that integration with Australia and attempts atassimilation have resulted in social dynamics where Cocos Malay language remains adefining marker of Cocos Malay identity positioning. In this social environment, CocosMalay therefore remains viable and, despite language change, does not face immediateextinction.
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Australian Atolls in the Indian Ocean
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Bunce, P., (1988). The Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Australian Atolls in the Indian Ocean. Australia: The Jacaranda Press.
About Cocos. Whether and Climate
  • Cocos Keeling
Cocos Keeling Island, (2015). About Cocos. Whether and Climate. Retrieved July 21, 2015 from http://www.cocoskeelingislands.com.au/about-cocos/weather-and-climate/general-climate @BULLET [4] Australian Government: Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, (2014).
The Malays in Australia. Language, Culture, Religion. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka
  • A H Omar
Omar, A. H., (2008). The Malays in Australia. Language, Culture, Religion. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Bantam Village Plot Organization on the Home Island
Bantam Village Plot Organization on the Home Island. Source: Google Earth (2012)