Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BERNAMA.COM features

July 16, 2009

Sanggul Lintang, The Traditional Head Adorment Of The Bride.

By Nabilah Saleh:

In Conjunction With The Wedding Preparation Promotion At The Craft Complex, Kuala LumpurKUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Bernama)

-- All bride and groom would want to look the best on their big day.Thus elaborate makeover from the head to the toe to create an impressive appearance is all part and parcel of any wedding preparation.
However, much of the dressing up concerns the bride.The brides in most customs are the ones who wear on the embellishments unique to their origins and traditions.In the Malay custom the sanggul, especially the Sanggul Lintang (horizontal chignon or hair knot) is among the options for the bride to adorn her head. Jamilah Hashim, 64, who was demonstrating the various head adornments especially the Sanggul Lintang at the recent Wedding Preparation Promotion 2009, shared some insights on this embellishment.
The Sanggul Lintang that originates from Melaka is actually the head adornment used by the Baba and Nyonya community in the state.According to Jamilah, the Sanggul Lintang made from copper and gold was once an innate part of the `bersanding' ceremony for the Malays in Melaka.There is also a belief that the `cucuk sanggul' (intricate hairpins) that is arranged in layers on the woven hair signifies the big responsibility to be shouldered by the bride when she becomes a wife.Jamilah added: "In those days, the sanggul denoted the women's dignity. That is why the sanggul is a highly regarded head adornment during weddings".
Also, many may not be aware that there are more than 10 floral motifs to embellish the sanggul. Among the motifs are Senayan, bunga Sundah Belum, bunga Kekwa, bunga Putih Pendek and bunga Paku Putih Panjang.
All motifs are based on natural plants that thrive in the jungles.Apart from this, lines of fresh flowers or known as `bunga Sisih' are also inserted between the layers of the sanggul that has been decorated with the hairpins in floral motifs.
When asked how the Sanggul Lintang could stay in shape, Jamilah explained that several layers of the banana or the pandan leaves are neatly folded or shaped before being placed crosswise on the hair.
"This banana or pandan leaf will then be secured to the hair and it serves as the base where the intricate hairpins will be inserted," explained Jamilah.
Believe it or not, almost 70 intricate hairpins will be inserted covering every one of the seven to nine layers of the Sanggul Lintang.Jamilah admitted that getting ready the Sanggul Lintang takes time and special expertise.

"It takes between one and two hours to set up the Sanggul Lintang."Other than that, an eye for details is also important if the Sanggul Lintang is comes out neat and beautiful apart from withstanding its own weight that sometimes can reach two kilogrammes," said Jamilah.
What is interesting is that the sanggul has changed with times and currently it is shaped according to the wedding themes, the body shape, looks and even to fit those wearing tudung."Now, there is no problem for the bride with tudung to adorn the head with the Sanggul Lintang for the bersanding ceremony," she said.
The sanggul design can be shaped according to the bride's liking including using it to cover the whole head."Normally, most of the bunga Sisih will be inserted at the back of the head with a thread of neatly woven flowers," said Jamilah who has been in the business for the last 38 years and has now team up with her daughter in-law.According to Jamilah, the bride need not worry on her hair length, face shape or their body size as the sanggul can be adjusted with makeup and the use of hair-piece.
In short, the Sanggul Lintang is a unique art form.The intricate weave pattern of the hair to create the layers to make the sanggul and the various motifs created using the hairpins create a stunning appearance for the bride.Though ready made sanggul is slowly gaining popularity, the traditional hand made Sanggul Lintang will have its own followers.


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