Four brothers keep the art of making traditional Malay capal and tengkolok alive


(From right) Brothers Mohd Rafi, Mohd Arif, Kamrul and Ghazali showing off their hand-made headgear and capal at their stall in Kuala Terengganu. — Bernama

A love for tradition and culture has motivated four brothers from Kampung Pulau Manis Serada near Kuala Terengganu, to make and sell traditional Malay capal (sandals) and tengkolok (headgear for men) thus elevating the original Malay costume for men.

The demand for these traditional articles of clothing may not match the demand for songkok and baju Melayu especially during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri season, but people still do love and buy them.

Mohd Rafi Kori, 44, said he started the business with his three brothers – Kamrul, 49, Mohd Arif, 38, and Ghazali, 36 – in 2010.

He said initially, they operated the business during the month of Ramadan at Dataran Shahbandar in Kuala Terengganu, which was then expanded to other locations due to the positive response.

“Throughout the month of Ramadan, we also operate at the Terengganu Trade Centre as well as at our permanent store in Kuala Terengganu city centre.

“The prices of our capal range from RM80 to RM120 depending on the size and design while the prices for tengkolok depend on the fabric, type and design,” he told reporters recently.

According to Mohd Rafi, a cotton and batik tengkolok is priced at RM80, while a songket tengkolok is priced between RM95 and RM125.

“Based on customers’ feedback, they are satisfied with our brand of capal and tengkolok that can last up to seven years because they are hand-made,” he said. Mohd Rafi added that they have also received orders from customers in Brunei and Singapore in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri. – Bernama

Popular Malay headgear

Tanjak is traditionally worn by men who are descended from royalty. Normally, the songket or silk headgear would carry the state’s royal crest in the centre.

Tengkolok is similar to the tanjak, but without the royal crest.

Destar is a folded headgear for men that uses cloth other than songket or silk.

Source: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (

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headgear , Malay traditional costume


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