The existence of decorative elements in traditional Malay houses represents the integration between functionalism and aesthetics of architecture. Its ornamentation, form and pattern particularly in woodcarving and bamboo weaving reflect the uniqueness of local craftsmanship and the master carvers. Defined as non-structural and “additional” member of the building there are at least 15 (fifteen) decorative elements of the traditional Malay house that have been identified by previous researcher. There are Tunjuk Langit, Sisik Naga, Sulur Bayung, Ande-Ande, Pemeleh, Kepala Cicak, Tiang Gantung, Lebah Bergantung, Kekisi, Gerbang, Gerbang Pintu Sesiku Keluang, Pagar Musang, Kepala Pintu and Kepala Tingkap. Architecturally in Malaysia traditional houses were categorised based on roof design, spatial organization and geographical setting which finally this categorization were named after the states. Every traditional house in the state of Malaysia signifying particular style and architectural characteristics of that particular state. This article discusses the study of those decorative elements on the traditional Malay houses in the state of Perak known as Rumah Limas Bumbung Perak (RLBP). With the objective is to investigate the type, terms and characteristics of decorative elements site observations were done on selected thirty (30) RLBP houses located along Sungai Perak. Sungai Perak is the second longest river in peninsula Malaysia recognised as the site of early Malay settlement in Perak. The analysis on visual data and verbal data were carried out to established architectural terminology and typology based on form and style of every decorative element. The study found that nine (9) decorative elements come to be the major characteristics of RLBP; some with different name, form and style from other states. These similarity and dissimilarity contributes to the enrichment of the aesthetical theory and philosophy of the Malay traditional house in Malaysia.
Keywords: Decorative elements; Malay traditional house; Rumah limas bumbung perak.
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