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LABU SAYONG
One of Malaysia most famous pottery.

Pottery is one of the oldest crafts in the world and each country has its own distinctive pottery craft. Malaysian pottery is perhaps most famous for its “Labu Sayong” or literally “Sayong Pumpkins”. These are gourd-shape pottery vessels that are renown for their ability to keep liquids cool even in the hottest weather. The state of Perak is synonymous with Labu Sayong and the word Sayong is so named because the pottery originated from the village of Sayong, which is located in the town of Kuala Kangsar, the silvery state’s Royal Town.

These black earthenwares are made from soft clay found abundantly on the banks of the Perak River, and then finished on the wheel where they are incised with freehand designs. After drying in the sun they are fired in small brick kilns. Both terracotta and black-coloured wares are made, with the latter obtaining their distinct colour from being buried in rice husks while they are still hot from the kiln.

The water vessel consists of three main sectors-upper, middle and lower parts. It is best described as a vessel with a globular shaped body, a bowed neck, a beveled rim with a dishaped flange plus cover and slightly concave base. Other similar items produced are the labu tela, labu kepala, labu gelugor tela and labu gelugor kepala.

Some of the best pottery designs come from Pulau Tiga, an area within Perak Tengah traditionally noted for the handicraft skills of its local people and the many products of their talents. In recognition of these skills, a handicraft centre was established at Pulau Tiga in order to further develop the quality of the products, as well as to display and market them. Among the handicraft that may be seen at the centre are porcelain and clay ware, gold thread embroidery, intricate weaveworks as well as the local version of the Labu Sayong.

   
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