Kelantan's Main Puteri to add healing light to Festival de l'imaginaire in Paris

  • Arts
  • Monday, 05 Jun 2023

The Main Puteri performance at the Festival de l'imaginaire in Paris on June 7 will feature three renowned Tok Puteri performers, including Che Mohd Zailani Che Moh (Pok Mat Jedok) from Tanah Merah, Kelantan. Photo: Cheryl Hoffmann/Pusaka

Main Puteri or Main Teri, a traditional performance from Kelantan, will be staged at the Festival de I'Imaginaire in Paris on June 7.

The performance, which will take place at the Theatre de I'Alliance Francaise, Paris, is to be presented by Pusaka, a cultural organisation for the preservation of Malaysian cultural heritage, at the invitation of the Maison des Cultures du Monde.

Pusaka founder Eddin Khoo said that the performance would serve as the best platform to further highlight the talents of artists in the field of Malaysian traditional arts and culture on the international stage.

"This is the second time we (Pusaka) have been invited to perform there after the successful staging of mak yong, menora and wayang kulit performances in 2007. We are proud and honoured to be given the opportunity to stage Main Puteri in a leading festival, in an effort to raise the dignity and empower our traditional art abroad,” said Khoo.

The Festival de I'Imaginaire, founded in 1997 by the Maison des Cultures du Monde, offers a stage to all types of expression and performance, as well as contributing to the dialogue between civilizations, international cooperation and preserving cultural diversity.

Main Puteri is a healing performance tradition found mainly in the north-eastern in Kelantan. It incorporates elements of dance, music, trance and ritual to cure patients suffering from emotional or spiritual illness. In the Kelantanese worldview, such illnesses are due either to an attack by malignant or unsettled spirits, a loss of semangat (soul or life-essence) or an imbalance of angin (inner wind) within a patient’s body. The principal figure in a Main Puteri performance is the Tok Puteri (spirit medium) who serves as both spirit-medium and healer. He is assisted by a Tok Minduk who acts as a spirit-interrogator and usually also plays the rebab (spike fiddle), leading the musical ensemble.

Khoo said that the performance at Festival de I'Imaginaire will feature three renowned Tok Puteri performers - Che Mohd Zailani Che Moh (Pok Mat Jedok), Muhd Noor Arifin (Pok Jue), and Ahmad Shaifuldin Jusoh (Din Puteri) - alongside an ensemble of next generation Kelantanese musicians, such as Kimi Anak Limbat, Syakil Yusof and Alang Rebanamas.

"Each of these three performers has a different presentation style through their own approach, which will certainly attract the audience's interest,” he added.

The Main Puteri festival performance in Paris will feature a 14-member entourage, including performers and representatives from Pusaka.

The trip to the festival also received the support of the Malaysian Embassy in Paris, the National Department for Culture and Arts and MyCreative Ventures.

At the same time, Khoo said that Pusaka and Asia Society France collaborated with the Malaysian Embassy to organise the Temu Budaya: A Cultural Soiree, at Rumah Malaysia, Paris on June 8.

"This talk show will feature Kelantan traditional musicians and Silat Jawi practitioners, who will promote and preserve intangible heritage in Malaysia. It will be officiated by the Malaysian Ambassador to France, Datuk Mohd Zamruni Khalid,” he said.

Khoo said that Pusaka will also document the performance and talk show in audio-visual form, which will be edited into a short film for public broadcast.

"The recording will include training in Kelantan, a trip to Paris, a performance at the Festival de I'Imaginaire and an interview at Temu Budaya, as well as behind-the-scenes activities,” he added. - Bernama

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