Origin of Peranakan

The Start Of A Culture

The root word for Peranakan comes from the Malay and Indonesian word ‘anak’ (child) meaning locally born descendants. The term Peranakan dates back to the 15th century, legend says that a Chinese princess was married off to the Sultan of Malacca. Her entourage then settled and intermarried with the locals, giving birth to children who were called Peranakan (straits-born). Over time, some of these early Peranakan relocated to Singapore. 

Baba’ is an honorific term for a Peranakan male.

Nyonya’ is the term given to a Peranakan female.

Peranakan Potteries

Vibrant Peranakan potteries are crafted from high-quality clay and minerals. 

It's believed that genuine Peranakan pottery may exhibit slight imperfections, such as smudges and blotches, stemming from the limited technological capabilities of the past.

Bakul Siah (Wedding Basket)

Bakul Siah, also known as ‘hua nah’ (花篮), translating to ‘flower basket’ is handcrafted using rattan.

It is painted with images of birds and flowers on the sides. It was mainly used to carry pre-wedding gifts from the groom’s family to the bride’s.

Traditional Handcrafted Accessories

Nyonya beadwork and embroidery represent intricate craft traditions associated with the Peranakan culture, adorning everyday household items as well as elaborate pieces for significant events like weddings.

Kasut Manek (Beaded Shoes)

Kasut Manek is created by arranging jewel-like beads and crystals in an amazingly intricate mosaic of textures, resulting in a stunning array of colours reminiscent of a rainbow.

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MSP155 Lokapedia: Peranakan Origins

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