Menora

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  • Topic: Dance, Malaysia, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Pages : 7 (2256 words )
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  • Published : January 14, 2013
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Chapter 1
1.1 Traditional Malay theatre in Malaysia
Malaysia has located the earlier culture in Southeast Asia which under Hinduism cultural process. The art of theatre in the east coast of Malay Peninsula was imported through the immigrant between Thailand and Malaya. Beside, large population of Chinese and Indian immigrated to this land for industry benefits when Malaysia was ruled by European countries. The impact of European colonised and adaption between different ethnic groups can be seen through the music, dance, food, and other art works. (Eddin, 2009, pg. 104) Malay theatre in Malaya such as Makyong, Wayang Kulit, and Menora dance was a dying intangible culture heritage which is untouchable. It might contain intense belief system, knowledge, skills, expressions and identity representation (UNESCO). Through cultural derived and cultural interface, Animism, Shamanism, Hinduism Buddhism and Islam beliefs has merged into the traditional Malay theatre. They believe: 1. Invisible being such as gods, minor deities, demon and ogres, genii, spirits and so on can posses into their body. 2. The invisible being has an important role in the theatre performance. 3. Good and Bad spirits (invisible being) are ever-present in the environment which always have a connection with the human being, the spirit might be the disease causers for human being. 4. The soul of human might be attacked or stolen by spirits with consequent possession, weakness, disease or other negative results. 5. The transactions with the spirits only can be made by certain individual who has the mystical knowledge. 6. A faith in the function of theatrical performances as remedies (Sarwar Yousof, 1992, pg. 169) 1.2 Research places

This research is done in Machang in Kelantan.

1.3 Introduction of Menora
Menora also can be called Nora Chatri/Manohra/manora. Menora is a dance theater that had been performed actively on the both side of the Malaysian-Thai border. It is mainly found in the north Malay Peninsula (Kedah, Pulau Pinang, and Kelantan) and the south part of Thailand (Phattalung, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Songkhla, Trang and Patani) (Sooi Beng, 1997). Menora, the word, have many different definitions. One of the definition was derived from the name of Manohara (half woman, half bird) in the Sudhana-Manohara tale (a heroine Jatakas tale) (Ginsberg,1957). Menora is an adaption genre which absorbs the element of Makyong and Wayang kulit with the combination of Hindu-Buddhism belief, dance, music, storytelling and shamanism element. Menora can be performed for ritual purpose or purely for entertainment and both are distinct. In the ritual performance, Menora stand as a purpose for fulfilling a vow to whom that are celebrated for the attainment of maturity either as a Menora dancer or someone whom is not connected with the Menora. Menora ritual performances can also be arranged for giving thanks to the spirits especially during the Buddhist celebration of Wesak. Non-ritual performances are mainly performed for wedding, public fair (pesta), anniversary celebration of temple and national celebrations (Bee Saik, 2004, pg. 42).

1.4 The origin of Menora
The origin of Menora still remains in a mysterious. In Siamese community, Menora’s origin normally was said from the region of Nakhon Si Thammarat or Ligor. However, the people of Kelantan, Kedah, or south Thailand admitted that they do not know when and how the Menora appeared.

According to Ghurlam Sarwar Yousof “Pangung Semar” (1992), Menora was started from a Siamese’s myth. A King, Thau A Thit has a beautiful daughter named Mesi Mala. Mesi Mala became ill and refused to eat and drink when she was small. However, Mesi Mala was inspired by coconut-shell drum-beating and formed a group with other children to play the drum-beating coconut-shell. Thau A Thit was worried about Mesi Mala’s behavior and looked for shaman for cure. The shamanist advised the king to expelled Mesi Mala and her...
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